of the creation; many of whom I have heard declare (and, doubtless, with great truth), that they would, with the utmost readiness, resign a lover to a rival, when such resignation was proved to be necessary for the temporal interest of such lover. Hence, therefore, I conclude that this affection is in nature, though I cannot pretend to say I have ever seen an instance of it.

Mr. Jones having spent three hours in reading and kissing the aforesaid letter, and being, at last, in a state of good spirits, from the last-mentioned considerations, he agreed to carry an appointment, which he had before made, into execution. This was, to attend Mrs. Miller, and her younger daughter, into the gallery at the play-house, and to admit Mr. Partridge as one of the company. For as Jones had really that taste for humour which many affect, he expected to enjoy much entertainment in the criticisms of Partridge, from whom he expected the simple dictates of nature, unimproved, indeed, but likewise unadulterated, by art.

In the first row then of the first gallery did Mr. Jones, Mrs. Miller, her youngest daughter, and Partridge, take their places. Partridge immediately declared it was the finest place he had ever been in. When the first music was played, he said, “It was a wonder how so many fiddlers could play at one time, without putting one another out.” While the fellow was lighting the upper candles, he cried out to Mrs. Miller, “Look, look, madam, the very picture of the man in the end of the common-prayer book before the gunpowder- treason service.” Nor could he help observing, with a sigh, when all the candles were lighted, “That here were candles enough burnt in one night, to keep an honest poor family for a whole twelvemonth.”

As soon as the play, which was Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, began, Partridge was all attention, nor did he break silence till the entrance of the ghost; upon which he asked Jones, “What man that was in the strange dress; something,” said he, “like what I have seen in a picture. Sure it is not armour, is it?” Jones answered, “That is the ghost.” To which Partridge replied with a smile, “Persuade me to that, sir, if you can. Though I can’t say I ever actually saw a ghost in my life, yet I am certain I should know one, if I saw him, better than that comes to. No, no, sir, ghosts don’t appear in such dresses as that, neither.” In this mistake, which caused much laughter in the neighbourhood of Partridge, he was suffered to continue, till the scene between the ghost and Hamlet, when Partridge gave that credit to Mr. Garrick, which he had denied to Jones, and fell into so violent a trembling, that his knees knocked against each other. Jones asked him what was the matter, and whether he was afraid of the warrior upon the stage? “O la! sir,” said he, “I perceive now it is what you told me. I am not afraid of anything; for I know it is but a play. And if it was really a ghost, it could do one no harm at such a distance, and in so much company; and yet if I was frightened, I am not the only person.” “Why, who,” cries Jones, “dost thou take to be such a coward here besides thyself?” “Nay, you may call me coward if you will; but if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man frightened in my life. Ay, ay: go along with you: Ay, to be sure! Who’s fool then? Will you? Lud have mercy upon such fool-hardiness!—Whatever happens, it is good enough for you.—Follow you? I’d follow the devil as soon. Nay, perhaps it is the devil—for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases.—Oh! here he is again.—No farther! No, you have gone far enough already; farther than I’d have gone for all the king’s dominions.” Jones offered to speak, but Partridge cried, “Hush, hush! dear sir, don’t you hear him?” And during the whole speech of the ghost, he sat with his eyes fixed partly on the ghost and partly on Hamlet, and with his mouth open; the same passions which succeeded each other in Hamlet, succeeding likewise in him.

When the scene was over, Jones said, “Why, Partridge, you exceed my expectations. You enjoy the play more than I conceived possible.” “Nay, sir,” answered Partridge, “if you are not afraid of the devil, I can’t help it; but to be sure, it is natural to be surprized at such things, though I know there is nothing in them: not that it was the ghost that surprized me, neither; for I should have known that to have been only a man in a strange dress; but when I saw the little man so frightened himself, it was that which took hold of me.” “And dost thou imagine, then, Partridge,” cries Jones, “that he was really frightened?” “Nay, sir,” said Partridge, “did not you yourself observe afterwards, when he found it was his own father’s spirit, and how he was murdered in the garden, how his fear forsook him by degrees, and he was struck dumb with sorrow, as it were, just as I should have been, had it been my own case?—But hush! O la! what noise is that? There he is again.—Well to be certain, though I know there is nothing at all in it, I am

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