The Adventures of Roderick Random HTML version

Chapter 3
My Mother's Brother arrives--relieves me--a Description of him--he goes along with me
to the House of my Grandfather--is encountered by his Dogs--defeats them, after a
bloody Engagement--is admitted to the old Gentleman--a Dialogue between them
About this time my mother's only brother, who had been long abroad, lieutenant of a
man-of-war, arrived in his own country; where being informed of my condition, he came
to see me, and out of his slender finances not only supplied me with what necessaries I
wanted for the present, but resolved not to leave the country until he had prevailed on
my grandfather to settle something handsome for the future. This was a task to which
he was by no means equal, being entirely ignorant, not only of the judge's disposition,
but also of the ways of men in general, to which his education on board had kept him an
utter stranger.
He was a strong built man, somewhat bandy legged, with a neck like that of a bull, and
a face which (you might easily perceive) had withstood the most obstinate assaults of
the weather. His dress consisted of a soldier's coat altered for him by the ship's tailor, a
striped flannel jacket, a pair of red breeches spanned with pitch, clean gray worsted
stockings, large silver buckles that covered three-fourths of his shoes, a silver-laced hat,
whose crown overlooked the brims about an inch and a half, black bobwig in buckle, a
check shirt, a silk handkerchief, a hanger, with a brass handle, girded to his thigh by a
furnished lace belt, and a good oak plant under his arm. Thus equipped, he set out with
me (who by his bounty made a very decent appearance) for my grandfather's house,
where we were saluted by Jowler and Caesar, whom my cousin, young master, had let
loose at our approach. Being well acquainted with the inveteracy of these curs, I was
about to betake myself to my heels, when my uncle seized me with one hand,
brandished his cudgel with the other, and at one blow laid Caesar sprawling on the
ground; but, finding himself attacked at the same time in the rear by Jowler, and fearing
Caesar might recover, he drew his hanger, wheeled about, and by a lucky stroke
severed Jowler's head from his body. By this time, the young foxhunter and three
servants, armed with pitchforks and flails, were come to the assistance of the dogs,
whom they found breathless upon the field; and my cousin was so provoked at the
death of his favourites, that he ordered his attendants to advance, and take vengeance
on their executioner, whom he loaded with all the curses and reproaches his anger
could suggest. Upon which my uncle stepped forwards with an undaunted air, at the
sight of whose bloody weapons his antagonists fell back with precipitation, when he
accosted their leader thus:
"Lookee, brother, your dogs having boarded me without provocation, what I did was in
my own defence. So you had best be civil, and let us shoot a head, clear of you."
Whether the young squire misinterpreted my uncle's desire of peace, or was enraged at
the fate of his hounds beyond his usual pitch of resolution, I know not; but he snatched