Chapter 5


Our travellers now walked so fast, that they had very little time or breath for conversation; Jones meditating all the way on Sophia, and Partridge on the bank-bill, which, though it gave him some pleasure, caused him at the same time to repine at fortune, which, in all his walks, had never given him such an opportunity of showing his honesty. They had proceeded above three miles, when Partridge, being unable any longer to keep up with Jones, called to him, and begged him a little to slacken his pace: with this he was the more ready to comply, as he had for some time lost the footsteps of the horses, which the thaw had enabled him to trace for several miles, and he was now upon a wide common, where were several roads.

He here therefore stopt to consider which of these roads he should pursue; when on a sudden they heard the noise of a drum, that seemed at no great distance. This sound presently alarmed the fears of Partridge, and he cried out, “Lord have mercy upon us all; they are certainly a coming!” “Who is coming?” cries Jones; for fear had long since given place to softer ideas in his mind; and since his adventure with the lame man, he had been totally intent on pursuing Sophia, without entertaining one thought of an enemy. “Who?” cries Partridge, “why, the rebels: but why should I call them rebels? they may be very honest gentlemen, for anything I know to the contrary. The devil take him that affronts them, I say; I am sure, if they have nothing to say to me, I will have nothing to say to them, but in a civil way. For Heaven’s sake, sir, don’t affront them if they should come, and perhaps they may do us no harm; but would it not be the wiser way to creep into some of yonder bushes, till they are gone by? What can two unarmed men do perhaps against fifty thousand? Certainly nobody but a madman; I hope your honour is not offended; but certainly no man who hath mens sana in corpore sano—” Here Jones interrupted this torrent of eloquence, which fear had inspired, saying, “That by the drum he perceived they were near some town.” He then made directly towards the place whence the noise proceeded, bidding Partridge “take courage, for that he would lead him into no danger;” and adding, “it was impossible the rebels should be so near.”

Partridge was a little comforted with this last assurance; and though he would more gladly have gone the contrary way, he followed his leader, his heart beating time, but not after the manner of heroes, to the music of the drum, which ceased not till they had traversed the common, and were come into a narrow lane.

And now Partridge, who kept even pace with Jones, discovered something painted flying in the air, a very few yards before him, which fancying to be the colours of the enemy, he fell a bellowing, “O Lord, sir, here they are; there is the crown and coffin. Oh Lord! I never saw anything so terrible; and we are within gun-shot of them already.”

Jones no sooner looked up, than he plainly perceived what it was which Partridge had thus mistaken. “Partridge,” says he, “I fancy you will be able to engage this whole army yourself; for by the colours I guess what the drum was which we heard before, and which beats up for recruits to a puppet-show.”

“A puppet-show!” answered Partridge, with most eager transport. “And is it really no more than that? I love a puppet-show of all the pastimes upon earth. Do, good sir, let us tarry and see it. Besides, I am quite famished to death; for it is now almost dark, and I have not eat a morsel since three o’clock in the morning.”

They now arrived at an inn, or indeed an ale-house, where Jones was prevailed upon to stop, the rather as he had no longer any assurance of being in the road he desired. They walked both directly into the kitchen, where Jones began to inquire if no ladies had passed that way in he morning, and Partridge as eagerly examined into the state of their provisions; and indeed his inquiry met with the better success; for Jones could not hear news of Sophia; but Partridge, to his great satisfaction, found good reason to expect very shortly the agreeable sight of an excellent smoaking dish of eggs and bacon.

In strong and healthy constitutions love hath a very different effect from what it causes in the puny part of the species. In the latter it generally destroys all that appetite which tends towards the conservation of the individual; but in the former, though it often induces forgetfulness, and a neglect of food, as well

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