Being the last in which this true history is brought to a happy conclusion.
Fanny was very little behind her Joseph in the duty she exprest towards her parents, and the joy she evidenced in discovering them. Gammar Andrews kissed her, and said, She was heartily glad to see her; but for her part, she could never love any one better than Joseph. Gaffar Andrews testified no remarkable emotion: he blessed and kissed her, but complained bitterly that he wanted his pipe, not having had a whiff that morning.
Mr Booby, who knew nothing of his aunt's fondness, imputed her abrupt departure to her pride, and disdain of the family into which he was married; he was therefore desirous to be gone with the utmost celerity; and now, having congratulated Mr Wilson and Joseph on the discovery, he saluted Fanny, called her sister, and introduced her as such to Pamela, who behaved with great decency on the occasion.
He now sent a message to his aunt, who returned that she wished him a good journey, but was too disordered to see any company: he therefore prepared to set out, having invited Mr Wilson to his house; and Pamela and Joseph both so insisted on his complying, that he at last consented, having first obtained a messenger from Mr Booby to acquaint his wife with the news; which, as he knew it would render her completely happy, he could not prevail on himself to delay a moment in acquainting her with.
The company were ranged in this manner: the two old people, with their two daughters, rode in the coach; the squire, Mr Wilson, Joseph, parson Adams, and the pedlar, proceeded on horseback.
In their way, Joseph informed his father of his intended match with Fanny; to which, though he expressed some reluctance at first, on the eagerness of his son's instances he consented; saying, if she was so good a creature as she appeared, and he described her, he thought the disadvantages of birth and fortune might be compensated. He however insisted on the match being deferred till he had seen his mother; in which, Joseph perceiving him positive, with great duty obeyed him, to the great delight of parson Adams, who by these means saw an opportunity of fulfilling the Church forms, and marrying his parishioners without a licence.
Mr Adams, greatly exulting on this occasion (for such ceremonies were matters of no small moment with him), accidentally gave spurs to his horse, which the generous beast disdaining — for he was of high mettle, and had been used to more expert riders than the gentleman who at present bestrode him, for whose horsemanship he had perhaps some contempt — immediately ran away full speed, and played so many antic tricks that he tumbled the parson from his back; which Joseph perceiving, came to his relief.
This accident afforded infinite merriment to the servants, and no less frighted poor Fanny, who beheld him as he passed by the coach; but the mirth of the one and terror of the other were soon determined, when the parson declared he had received no damage.
The horse having freed himself from his unworthy rider, as he probably thought him, proceeded to make the best of his way; but was stopped by a gentleman and his servants, who were travelling the opposite way, and were now at a little distance from the coach. They soon met; and as one of the servants delivered Adams his horse, his master hailed him, and Adams, looking up, presently recollected he was the justice of peace before whom he and Fanny had made their appearance. The parson presently saluted him very kindly; and the justice informed him that he had found the fellow who attempted to swear against him and the young woman the very next day, and had committed him to Salisbury gaol, where he was charged with many robberies.
Many compliments having passed between the parson and the justice, the latter proceeded on his journey; and the former, having with some disdain refused Joseph's offer of changing horses, and declared he was as able a horseman as any in the kingdom, remounted his beast; and now the company again proceeded, and happily arrived at their journey's end, Mr Adams, by good luck, rather than by good riding, escaping a second fall.
The company, arriving at Mr Booby's house, were all received by him in the most courteous and entertained in the most splendid manner, after the custom of the old English hospitality, which is still preserved in some very few families in the remote parts of England. They all passed that day with the utmost satisfaction; it being perhaps impossible to find any set of people more solidly and sincerely happy. Joseph and Fanny found means to be alone upwards of two hours, which were the shortest but the sweetest imaginable.
In the morning Mr Wilson proposed to his son to make a visit with him to his mother; which, notwithstanding his dutiful inclinations, and a longing desire he had to see her, a little concerned him, as he must be obliged to leave his Fanny; but the goodness of Mr Booby relieved him; for he proposed to send his own coach and six for Mrs Wilson, whom Pamela so very earnestly invited, that Mr Wilson at length agreed with the entreaties of Mr Booby and Joseph, and suffered the coach to go empty for his wife.
On Saturday night the coach returned with Mrs Wilson, who added one more to this happy assembly. The reader may imagine much better and quicker too than I can describe the many embraces and tears of joy which succeeded her arrival. It is sufficient to say she was easily prevailed with to follow her husband's example in consenting to the match.