The squire now returned, and prevented any farther continuance of this conversation; and the justice, out of a pretended respect to his guest, but in reality from an apprehension of a rival (for he knew nothing of his marriage), ordered Fanny into the kitchen, whither she gladly retired; nor did the squire, who declined the trouble of explaining the whole matter, oppose it.
It would be unnecessary, if I was able, which indeed I am not, to relate the conversation between these two gentlemen, which rolled, as I have been informed, entirely on the subject of horse-racing. Joseph was soon drest in the plainest dress he could find, which was a blue coat and breeches, with a gold edging, and a red waistcoat with the same: and as this suit, which was rather too large for the squire, exactly fitted him, so he became it so well, and looked so genteel, that no person would have doubted its being as well adapted to his quality as his shape; nor have suspected, as one might, when my Lord — — , or Sir — — , or Mr — — , appear in lace or embroidery, that the taylor's man wore those clothes home on his back which he should have carried under his arm.
The squire now took leave of the justice; and, calling for Fanny, made her and Joseph, against their wills, get into the coach with him, which he then ordered to drive to Lady Booby's. It had moved a few yards only, when the squire asked Joseph if he knew who that man was crossing the field; for, added he, I never saw one take such strides before. Joseph answered eagerly, "O, sir, it is parson Adams!" "O la, indeed, and so it is," said Fanny; "poor man, he is coming to do what he could for us. Well, he is the worthiest, best-natured creature." — "Ay," said Joseph; "God bless him! for there is not such another in the universe." "The best creature living sure," cries Fanny. "Is he?" says the squire; "then I am resolved to have the best creature living in my coach;" and so saying, he ordered it to stop, whilst Joseph, at his request, hallowed to the parson, who, well knowing his voice, made all the haste imaginable, and soon came up with them. He was desired by the master, who could scarce refrain from laughter at his figure, to mount into the coach, which he with many thanks refused, saying he could walk by its side, and he'd warrant he kept up with it; but he was at length over-prevailed on. The squire now acquainted Joseph with his marriage; but he might have spared himself that labour; for his servant, whilst Joseph was dressing, had performed that office before. He continued to express the vast happiness he enjoyed in his sister, and the value he had for all who belonged to her. Joseph made many bows, and exprest as many acknowledgments: and parson Adams, who now first perceived Joseph's new apparel, burst into tears with joy, and fell to rubbing his hands and snapping his fingers as if he had been mad.
They were now arrived at the Lady Booby's, and the squire, desiring them to wait a moment in the court, walked in to his aunt, and calling her out from his wife, acquainted her with Joseph's arrival; saying, "Madam, as I have married a virtuous and worthy woman, I am resolved to own her relations, and show them all a proper respect; I shall think myself therefore infinitely obliged to all mine who will do the same. It is true, her brother hath been your servant, but he is now become my brother; and I have one happiness, that neither his character, his behaviour, or appearance, give me any reason to be ashamed of calling him so. In short, he is now below, dressed like a gentleman, in which light I intend he shall hereafter be seen; and you will oblige me beyond expression if you will admit him to be of our party; for I know it will give great pleasure to my wife, though she will not mention it."
This was a stroke of fortune beyond the Lady Booby's hopes or expectation; she answered him eagerly, "Nephew, you know how easily I am prevailed on to do anything which Joseph Andrews desires — Phoo, I mean which you desire me; and, as he is now your relation, I cannot refuse to entertain him as such." The squire told her he knew his obligation to her for her compliance; and going three steps, returned and told her — he had one more favour, which he believed she would easily grant, as she had accorded him the former. "There is a young woman — " — "Nephew," says she, "don't let my good-nature make you desire, as is too commonly the case, to impose on me. Nor think, because I have with so much condescension agreed to suffer your brother-in-law to come to my table, that I will submit to the company of all my own servants, and all the dirty trollops in the country." "Madam," answered the squire, "I believe you never saw this young creature. I never beheld such sweetness and innocence joined with such beauty, and withal so genteel." "Upon my soul I won't admit her," replied the lady in a passion; "the whole world shan't prevail on me; I resent even the desire as an affront, and — " The squire, who knew her inflexibility, interrupted her, by asking pardon, and promising not to mention it more. He then returned to Joseph, and she to Pamela. He took Joseph aside, and told him he would carry him to his sister, but could not prevail as yet for Fanny. Joseph begged that he might see his sister alone, and then be with his Fanny; but the squire, knowing the pleasure his wife would have in her brother's company, would not admit it, telling Joseph there would be nothing in so short an absence from Fanny, whilst he was assured of her safety; adding, he hoped he could not so easily quit a sister whom he had not seen so long, and who so tenderly loved him. Joseph immediately complied; for indeed no brother could love a sister more; and, recommending Fanny, who rejoiced that she was not to go before Lady Booby, to the care of Mr Adams, he attended the squire upstairs, whilst Fanny repaired with the parson to his house, where she thought herself secure of a kind reception.