The master of it is brother to the great preacher Whitefield; but is absolutely untainted with the pernicious principles of Methodism, or of any other heretical sect.
Mrs Whitefield happened to be in the yard when Jones and his attendant marched in.
As the conversation of fellows of this kind is of all others the most detestable to men of any sense, the cloth was no sooner removed than Mr Jones withdrew, and a little barbarously left poor Mrs Whitefield to do a penance, which I have often heard Mr Timothy Harris, and other publicans of good taste, lament, as the severest lot annexed to their calling, namely, that of being obliged to keep company with their guests.
Jones had no sooner quitted the room, than the petty-fogger, in a whispering tone, asked Mrs Whitefield, "If she knew who that fine spark was?" She answered, "She had never seen the gentleman before."--"The gentleman, indeed!" replied the petty-fogger; "a pretty gentleman, truly!
"I have heard of the gentleman," cries Dowling, "often; but I never heard any ill character of him."--"And I am sure," says Mrs Whitefield, "if half what this gentleman hath said be true, Mr Jones hath the most deceitful countenance I ever saw; for sure his looks promise something very different; and I must say, for the little I have seen of him, he is as civil a well-bred man as you would wish to converse with."
As Mrs Whitefield had no reason to suspect that the petty-fogger had any motive or temptation to abuse Jones, the reader cannot blame her for believing what he so confidently affirmed with many oaths.
This dislike was now farther increased by a report which Mr Whitefield made from the kitchen, where Partridge had informed the company, "That though he carried the knapsack, and contented himself with staying among servants, while Tom Jones (as he called him) was regaling in the parlour, he was not his servant, but only a friend and companion, and as good a gentleman as Mr Jones himself."
The petty-fogger now likewise departed, and then Jones desired the favour of Mrs Whitefield's company to drink tea with him; but she refused, and with a manner so different from that with which she had received him at dinner, that it a little surprized him.
He did indeed account somewhat unfairly for this sudden change; for besides some hard and unjust surmises concerning female fickleness and mutability, he began to suspect that he owed this want of civility to his want of horses; a sort of animals which, as they dirty no sheets, are thought in inns to pay better for their beds than their riders, and are therefore considered as the more desirable company; but Mrs Whitefield, to do her justice, had a much more liberal way of thinking.