“I have, indeed, heard of that Partridge,” says Jones, “and have always believed myself to be his son.” “Well, sir,” answered Benjamin, “I am that Partridge; but I here absolve you from all filial duty, for I do assure you, you are no son of mine.” “How!” replied Jones, “and is it possible that a false suspicion should have drawn all the ill consequences upon you, with which I am too well acquainted?” “It is possible,” cries Benjamin, “for it is so: but though it is natural enough for men to hate even the innocent causes of their sufferings, yet I am of a different temper. I have loved you ever since I heard of your behaviour to Black George, as I told you; and I am convinced, from this extraordinary meeting, that you are born to make me amends for all I have suffered on that account. Besides, I dreamt, the night before I saw you, that I stumbled over a stool without hurting myself; which plainly showed me something good was towards me: and last night I dreamt again, that I rode behind you on a milk-white mare, which is a very excellent dream, and betokens much good fortune, which I am resolved to pursue unless you have the cruelty to deny me.”

“I should be very glad, Mr. Partridge,” answered Jones, “to have it in my power to make you amends for your sufferings on my account, though at present I see no likelihood of it; however, I assure you I will deny you nothing which is in my power to grant.”

“It is in your power sure enough,” replied Benjamin; “for I desire nothing more than leave to attend you in this expedition. Nay, I have so entirely set my heart upon it, that if you should refuse me, you will kill both a barber and a surgeon in one breath.”

Jones answered, smiling, that he should be very sorry to be the occasion of so much mischief to the public. He then advanced many prudential reasons, in order to dissuade Benjamin (whom we shall hereafter call Partridge) from his purpose; but all were in vain. Partridge relied strongly on his dream of the milk- white mare. “Besides, sir,” says he, “I promise you I have as good an inclination to the cause as any man can possibly have; and go I will, whether you admit me to go in your company or not.”

Jones, who was as much pleased with Partridge as Partridge could be with him, and who had not consulted his own inclination but the good of the other in desiring him to stay behind, when he found his friend so resolute, at last gave his consent; but then recollecting himself, he said, “Perhaps, Mr. Partridge, you think I shall be able to support you, but I really am not;” and then taking out his purse, he told out nine guineas, which he declared were his whole fortune.

Partridge answered, “That his dependence was only on his future favour; for he was thoroughly convinced he would shortly have enough in his power. At present, sir,” said he, “I believe I am rather the richer man of the two; but all I have is at your service, and at your disposal. I insist upon your taking the whole, and I beg only to attend you in the quality of your servant; Nil desperandum est Teucro duce et auspice Teucro: but to this generous proposal concerning the money, Jones would by no means submit.

It was resolved to set out the next morning, when a difficulty arose concerning the baggage; for the portmanteau of Mr. Jones was too large to be carried without a horse.

“If I may presume to give my advice,” says Partridge, “this portmanteau, with everything in it, except a few shirts, should be left behind. Those I shall be easily able to carry for you, and the rest of your cloaths will remain very safe locked up in my house.”

This method was no sooner proposed than agreed to; and then the barber departed, in order to prepare everything for his intended expedition.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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