The Adventures of Roderick Random, by Tobias Smollett

Table of Contents

The Author’s Preface


Chapter I

Of my Birth and Education

Chapter II

I grow up — am hated by my Relations — sent to School — neglected by my Grandfather — maltreated by my Master — seasoned to Adversity — I form Cabals against the Pedant — am debarred Access to my Grandfather — hunted by his Heir — I demolish the Teeth of his Tutor

Chapter III

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

Chapter IV

My Grandfather makes his Will — our second Visit — he Dies — his Will is read in Presence of all his living Descendants — the Disappointment of my female Cousins — my Uncle’s Behaviour

Chapter V

The Schoolmaster uses me barbarously — I form a Project of Revenge, in which I am assisted by my Uncle — I leave the Village — am settled at a University by his Generosity

Chapter VI

I make great progress in my Studies — am caressed by Everybody — my female Cousins take notice of me-I reject their Invitation-they are incensed, and conspire against me-am left destitute by a Misfortune that befalls my Uncle-Gawky’s Treachery-my Revenge

Chapter VII

I am entertained by Mr. Crab — a description of him — I acquire the Art of Surgery — consult Crab’s Disposition — become necessary to him — an Accident happens — he advises me to launch out into the world — assists me with Money-I set out for London

Chapter VIII

I arrive at Newcastle — meet with my old Schoolfellow Strap — we determine to walk together to London — set out on our Journey — put up at a solitary Alehouse — are disturbed by a strange Adventure in the Night

Chapter IX

We proceed on our Journey — are overtaken by a Highwayman who fires at Strap — is prevented from shooting me by a Company of Horsemen, who ride in pursuit of him — Strap is put to Bed at an Inn — Adventures at that Inn

Chapter X

The Highwayman is taken — we are detained as Evidence against him — proceed to the next village — he escapes — we arrive at another inn, where we go to Bed — in the Night we are awaked by a dreadful Adventure-next night we lodge at the house of a Schoolmaster — our Treatment there

Chapter XI

We descry the Waggon — get into it — arrive at an inn — our Fellow Travellers described — a Mistake is committed by Strap, which produces strange things

Chapter XII

Captain Weazel challenges Strap, who declines the Combat — an Affair between the Captain and me — the Usurer is fain to give Miss Jenny five Guineas for a Release — we are in Danger of losing a Meal — the Behaviour of Weazel, Jenny, and Joey, on that Occasion — an Account of Captain Weazel and his Lady — the Captain’s Courage tried — Isaac’s mirth at the Captain’s Expense

Chapter XIII

Strap and I are terrified by an Apparition — Strap’s Conjecture — the Mystery explained by Joey — we arrive in London-our Dress and Appearance described — we are insulted in the Street — an Adventure in an Alehouse — we are imposed upon by a waggish Footman — set to rights by a Tobacconist — take Lodgings — dive for a Dinner — an Accident at our Ordinary

Chapter XIV

We visit Strap’s friend — a description of him — his advice — we go to Mr. Cringer’s house — are denied admittance — an Accident befalls Strap — his behaviour thereupon — an extraordinary adventure occurs, in the course of which I lose all my money

Chapter XV

Strap moralises — presents his purse to me — we inform our landlord of our misfortune — he unravels the mystery — I present myself to Cringer — he recommends and turns me over to Mr. Staytape — I become acquainted with a fellow dependent, who explains the character of Cringer and Staytape — and informs me of the method to be pursued at the Navy Office and Surgeons’ Hall — Strap is employed

Chapter XVI

My new acquaintance breaks an appointment — I proceed, by myself, to the Navy Office — address me to a person there, who assists me with advice — write to the Board, they grant me a letter to the Surgeons at the Hall — am informed of the beau’s name and character — find him — he makes me his confidant in an amour — desires me to pawn my linen for his occasions — recover what I lent him — some curious observations on Strap on that occasion — his vanity.

Chapter XVII

I go to Surgeons’ Hall, when I meet Mr. Jackson-am examined — a fierce dispute arises between two of the examiners — Jackson disguises himself to attract respect — irises himself to attract respect — is detected — in hazard of being sent to Bridewell — he treats us at a Tavern — carries us to a Night-house — A troublesome adventure there — we are committed to the Round-house — carried before a Justice — his behaviour

Chapter XVIII

I carry my qualification to the Navy Office — the nature of it — the behaviour of the Secretary — Strap’s concern for my absence — a battle betwixt him a blacksmith — the troublesome consequences of it — his harangue to me — his friend the schoolmaster recommends me to a French Apothecary, who entertains me as a journeyman

Chapter XIX

The character of Mr. Lavement, his wife and daughter — some anecdotes of the family — the mother and daughter rivals — I am guilty of a mistake that gives me present satisfaction, but is attended with troublesome consequences

Chapter XX

I am assaulted and dangerously wounded-suspect O’Donnell, and am confirmed in my opinion — concert a scheme of revenge, and put it into execution — O’Donnell robs his own servant and disappears — make my addresses to a lady, and am miraculously delivered from her snare

Chapter XXI

Squire Gawky comes to lodge with my master — is involved in a troublesome affair, out of which he is extricated by me — he marries my master’s daughter — they conspire against me — I am found guilty of theft, discharged — deserted by my friends, I hire a room in St. Gile’s — where, by accident, I find the lady to whom I paid my addresses in a miserable condition — I relieve her

Chapter XXII

The History of Miss Williams

Chapter XXIII

Miss Williams interrupted by a bailiff, who carries her to the Marshalsea — I accompany her — prove she is not the person named in the writ — the bailiff is fain to discharge her — we shift our lodging — her story, and my reflections thereupon-progress of a common woman of the town — resolves to quit that way of life

Chapter XXIV

I am reduced to a great misery — assaulted on Tower Hill by a press-gang, who put me on board a tender — my usage there — my arrival on board at a man-of-war, where I am put in irons, and released by the good offices of Mr. Thompson, who recommends me as assistant to the surgeon — -he relates his own story — characters of the captain, surgeon, and first mate

Chapter XXV

The behaviour of Mr. Morgan — his pride, displeasure, and generosity — the economy of our mess described — Thomson’s further friendship — the nature of my duty explained — the situation of the sick

Chapter XXVI

A disagreeable accident happens to me in the discharge of my office — Morgan’s nose is offended — a dialogue between him and the Ship’s steward-upon examination, I find more causes of complaint than one — my hair is cut off — Morgan’s cookery — the manner of sleeping on board-I am waked in the night by a dreadful noise

Chapter XXVII

I acquire the friendship of the Surgeon, who procures a warrant for me, and makes me a present of clothes — a battle between a Midshipman and me — the Surgeon leaves the ship — the Captain comes on board with another Surgeon — a dialogue between the Captain and Morgan — the sick are ordered to be brought upon the Quarter-deck and examined — the consequences of that order — a Madman accuses Morgan, and is set at liberty by command of the Captain, whom he instantly attacks, and pummels without mercy

Chapter XXVIII

The Captain enraged, threatens to put the Madman to death with his own hand — is diverted from that resolution by the arguments and persuasion of the first Lieutenant and Surgeon-we set sail for St. Helen’s, join the fleet under the command of Sir C— O— gle, and proceed for the West Indies — are overtaken by a terrible tempest — my friend Jack Rattlin has his leg broke by a fall from the mainyard — the behaviour of Mr. Mackshane-Jack opposes the amputation of his limb, in which he is seconded by Morgan and me, we undertake the cure and perform it successfully

Chapter XXIX

Mackshane’s malice — I am taken up and imprisoned for a spy — Morgan meets with the same fate — Thompson is tampered with to turn evidence against us — disdains the proposal, and is maltreated for his integrity — Morgan is released to assist the Surgeon during an engagement with some French ships-of-war — I remain fettered on the poop, exposed to the enemy’s shot, and grow delirious with fear — am comforted after the battle by Morgan, who speaks freely of the captain, is overheard by the sentinel, who informs against him, and again imprisoned — Thompson grows desperate, and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Morgan and me, goes overboard in the night

Chapter XXX

We lament the fate of our companion — the Captain offers Morgan his liberty, which he refuses to accept — we are brought before him and examined — Morgan is sent back into custody, whither also I am remanded after a curious trial

Chapter XXXI

I discover a subornation against me, by means of a quarrel between two of the evidences; in consequence of which I am set at liberty, and prevail upon Morgan to accept of his freedom on the same terms — Mackshane’s malice — we arrive at Jamaica, from whence in a short time we beat up to Hispaniola, in conjunction with the West India squadron — we take in water, sail again, and arrive at Carthagena — Reflections on our conduct there

Chapter XXII

Our Land Forces being disembarked, erect a fascine battery-our ship is ordered, with four more, to batter the port of Bocca Chica — Mackshane’s cowardice-the Chaplain’s frenzy — honest Rattlin loses one hand — his heroism and reflections on the battle — Crampley’s behaviour to me during the heat of the Fight

Chapter XXXIII

A breach being made in the walls, our soldiers give the assault, and take the place without opposition — our sailors at the same time, become masters of all the other strengths near Bocca Chica, and take possession of the harbour — the good consequence of this success — we move nearer the town — find two forts deserted, and the Channel blocked up with sunk vessels; which however we find means to clear — land our soldiers at La Quinta — repulse a body of militia — attack the castle of St. Lazar, and are forced to retreat with great loss-the remains of our army are re-embarked — an effort of the Admiral to take the town — the economy of our expedition described

Chapter XXXIV

An epidemic Fever rages among us — we abandon our Conquests — I am seized with Distemper — write a Petition to the Captain, which is rejected — I am in danger of Suffocation through the Malice of Crampley, and relieved by a Serjeant — my Fever increases — the Chaplain wants to confess me — I obtain a favourable Crisis-Morgan’s Affection for me proved — the Behaviour of Mackshane and Crampley towards me — Captain Oakum is removed into another Ship with his beloved Doctor — our new Captain described — An Adventure of Morgan

Chapter XXXV

Captain Whiffle sends for me — his situation described — his surgeon arrives, prescribes for him, and puts him to bed — a bed is put up for Mr. Simper contiguous to the state room, which, with other parts of the captains behaviour, gives the ship’s company a very unfavourable idea of their commander — I am detained in the West Indies by the admiral, and go on board of the Lizard sloop of war in quality of surgeon’s mate, where I make myself known to the surgeon, who treats me very kindly — I go on shore, sell my ticket, purchase necessaries, and, at my return on board, am surprised at the sight of Crampley, who is appointed lieutenant of the sloop — we sail on a cruise-take a prize in which I arrive at Port Morant under the command of my messmate, with whom I live in great harmony

Chapter XXXVI

A strange adventure — in consequence of which I am extremely happy — Crampley does me in offices with the Captain; but his malice is defeated by the good-nature and friendship of the surgeon — we return to Port Royal — our Captain gets the command of a larger ship, and is succeeded by an old man — Brayl is provided for — we receive orders to sail for England

Chapter XXXVII

We depart for Europe — a misunderstanding arises between the Captain and the Surgeon, through the scandalous aspersions of Crampley — the Captain dies — Crampley tyrannises over the surgeon, who falls a Victim for his Cruelty — I am also ill-used — the Ship strikes — the behaviour of Crampley and the Seamen on that occasion — -I get on shore, challenge the Captain to single combat — am treacherously knocked down, wounded, and robbed


I get up and crawl into a barn, where I am in danger of perishing, through the fear of the country people — their inhumanity — I am succoured by a reputed witch — her story — her advice — she recommends me as a valet to a single lady, whose character she explains

Chapter XXXIX

My Reception by that Lady — I become enamoured of Narcissa — recount the particulars of my last misfortune-acquire the good opinion of my Mistress — an Account of the young Squire — I am made acquainted with more particulars of Narcissa’s Situation — conceive a mortal hatred against Sir Timothy — examine my Lady’s library and performances — her extravagant behaviour

Chapter XL

My mistress is surprised at my learning — communicates her performances to me — I impart some of mine to her — am mortified at her faint praise — Narcissa approves of my conduct — I gain an involuntary conquest over the cookwench and dairymaid — their mutual resentment and insinuations — the jealousy of their lovers

Chapter XLI

Narcissa being in danger from the brutality of Sir Timothy, is rescued by me, who revenge myself on my rival — I declare my passion, and retreat to the seaside — am surrounded by smugglers, and carried to Boulogne — find my Uncle Lieutenant Bowling in great distress, and relieve him — our conversation

Chapter XLII

He takes his passage in a cutter for Deal — we are accosted by a Priest, who proves to be a Scotchman — his profession on friendship — he is affronted by the Lieutenant, who afterwards appeases him by submission — my uncle embarks — I am introduced by a Priest to a Capuchin, in whose company I set out for Paris — the character of my fellow traveller — on adventure on the road — I am shocked at his behaviour

Chapter XLIII

We lodge at a House near Amiens, where I am robbed by the Capuchin, who escapes while I am asleep — I go to Noyons in search of him, but without Success — make my Condition known to several People, but find no Relief — grow desperate — find a Company of Soldiers — Enlist in the Regiment of Picardy — we are ordered into Germany — I find the Fatigues of the March almost intolerable — Quarrel with my Comrade in a dispute about Politics — he challenges me to the Field — wounds and disarms me

Chapter XLIV

In order to be revenged, I learn the Science of Defence — we join Mareschal Duc de Noailles, are engaged with the Allies of Dettingen, and put to flight — the behaviour of the French soldiers on that occasion — I industriously seek another combat with the old Gascon, and vanquish him in my turn — our regiment is put into Winter Quarters at Rheims, where I find my friend Strap — our Recognition — he supplies me with Money, and procures my Discharge — we take a trip to Paris; from whence, by the way of Flanders, we set out for London; where we safely arrive

Chapter XLV

I inquire for my Uncle, and understand he is gone to sea — take Lodgings at Charing Cross — go to the Play, where I meet with an adventure-Dine at an ordinary — the Guests described — become acquainted with Medlar and Doctor Wagtail

Chapter XLVI

Wagtail introduces me to set of fine Gentlemen with whom I spend the Evening at a Tavern — our Conversation — the Characters of my new Companions — the Doctor is roasted — our Issue of our Debauch

Chapter XLVII

Strap communicates to me a conquest he had made of a Chandler’s Widow — finds himself miserably mistaken — I go to the Opera — admire Melinda — am cautioned by Banter — go to the Assembly at Hampstead — dance with that young lady — receive an insolent message from Bragwell, whose mettle is soon cooled — am in favour with my Mistress, whom I visit next day, and am bubbled out of eighteen guineas at cards — Strap triumphs at my success, but is astonished at my expense — Banter comes to my lodging, is very sarcastic at my expense, and borrows five guineas from me, as a proof of his friendship

Chapter XLVIII

We repair to the coffee-house, where we overhear a curious dispute between Wagtail and Medlar, which is referred to our decision — the Doctor gives an account of his experiment — Medlar is roasted by Banter at the ordinary — the old gentleman’s advice to me

Chapter XLIX

I receive a Challenge — the Consequence of it — the Quarrel being made up, am put in Arrest by the Care and Affection of Strap — but immediately released upon explaining my Affair — the Behaviour of Mr. Oregan and his two Friends — I visit Melinda, whom I divert with an account of the Duel — propose Marriage — she refers the Matter to her Mother, of whom I make a solemn Demand of her Daughter — the old Lady’s behaviour — I am discarded — -resent their Disdain

Chapter L

I long to be revenged on Melinda — apply to Banter for his Assistance — he contrives a scheme for that purpose — which is put in Execution with great Success — I make an Attempt upon the Heart of Miss Gripewell, but am disappointed — grow melancholy at my Disappointment, and have recourse to the Bottle — receive a Billet-doux — am ravished with the Contents — find myself involved in Intrigue, which I imagined would make my Fortune — am confounded at my mistake, which banishes all Thoughts of Matrimony

Chapter LI

I cultivate an Acquaintance with two Noblemen — am introduced to earl Strutwell — his kind Promise and Invitation — the Behaviour of his Porter and Lacquey — he receives me with an Appearance of uncommon Affection — undertakes to speak in my Behalf to the Minister — informs me of his Success, and wishes me Joy — introduces a Conversation about Fetronius Arbiter — falls in Love with my Watch, which I press upon him — I make a present of a Diamond Ring to Lord Straddle — impart my good Fortune to Strap and Banter, who disabuses me, to my utter Mortification

Chapter LII

I attempt to recover my Watch and Jewel, but to no Purpose — resolve to revenge myself on Strutwell by my Importunity — am reduced to my last Guinea — obliged to inform Strap of my Necessity, who is almost distracted with the News, but nevertheless obliged to pawn my best Sword for present Subsistence — that small Supply being exhausted, I am almost stupified with my Misfortunes — go to the Gaming Table by the Advice of Banter, and come off with unexpected Success — Strap’s Ecstacy — Mrs. Gawky waits upon me, professes Remorse for her Perfidy, and implores my Assistance — I do myself a Piece of Justice by her Means, and afterwards reconcile her to her Father

Chapter LIII

I purchase new Clothes — reprimand Strutwell and Straddle — Banter proposes another matrimonial Scheme — I accept of his Terms — set out to Bath in the Stage-coach with the young Lady and her Mother — the Behaviour of an Officer and Lawyer — our fellow Travellers described — a smart dialogue between my Mistress and the Captain

Chapter LIV

Day breaking, I have the Pleasure of viewing the Person of Miss Snapper, whom I had not seen before — the Soldier is witty upon me — is offended — talks much of his Valour — is reprimanded by a grave Gentlewoman — we are alarmed by the cry of Highwaymen — I get out of the Coach, and stand in my own defence — they ride off without having attacked us — I pursue them — one of them is thrown from his Horse and taken — I return to the Coach — am complimented by Miss Snapper — the Captain’s Behaviour on this Occasion — the Prude reproaches me in a Soliloquy — I upbraid her in the same Manner — the Behaviour of Miss Snapper, at Breakfast, disobliges me — the Lawyer is witty upon the Officer, who threatens him

Chapter LV

I resolve to ingratiate myself with the Mother, and am favoured by accident — the Precise Lady finds her husband, and quit the Coach — the Captain is disappointed of his dinner — we arrive at Bath — I accompany Miss Snapper to the Long-room, where she is attacked by beau Nash, and, turns the Laugh against him — I make love to her, and receive a check — Squire her to an Assembly, where I am blessed with a Sight of my dear Narcissa, which discomposes me so much, that Miss Snapper, observing my disorder, is at pains to discover the Cause — is piqued at the Occasion, and, in our way home, pays me a sarcastic Compliment — I am met by Miss Williams, who is the maid and Confidante of Narcissa — she acquaints me with her Lady’s regard for me while under the disguise of a Servant, and describes the Transports of Narcissa on seeing me at the Assembly, in the Character of a Gentleman — I am surprised with an Account of her Aunt’s Marriage, and make an Appointment to meet Miss Williams the next day

Chapter LVI

I become acquainted with Narcissa’s brother, who invites me to his House, where I am introduced to that adorable Creature — after dinner, the Squire retires to take his nap — Freeman, guessing the Situation of my Thought, withdraws likewise, on pretence of Business — I declare my passion for Narcissa — am well-received — charmed with her Conversation — the Squire detains us to Supper — I elude his design by a Stratagem, and get home sober

Chapter LVII

Miss Williams informs me of Narcissa’s Approbation of my Flame — I appease the Squire — write to my Mistress — am blessed with an Answer — beg Leave of her Brother to dance with her at a Ball — obtain his Consent and hers — enjoy a private Conversation with her — am perplexed with Reflections — have the Honour of appearing her Partner at a Ball — we are complimented by a certain Nobleman — he discovers some Symptoms of a Passion for Narcissa — I am stung with Jealousy — Narcissa, alarmed, retires — I observe Melinda in the company — the Squire is captivated by her Beauty

Chapter LVIII

Tortured with Jealousy, I go Home, and abuse Strap — receive a Message from Narcissa, in Consequence of which I hasten to her Apartment, where her endearing Assurances banish all my Doubts and Apprehensions — in my Retreat discover Somebody in the Dark, whom, suspecting to be a Spy, I resolve to kill, but, to my great Surprise, am convinced of his being no other than Strap — Melinda slanders me — I become acquainted with Lord Quiverwit, who endeavours to sound me with regard to Narcissa — the Squire is introduced to his Lordship, and grows cold towards me — I learn from my Confidante, that this Nobleman professes honourable Love to my Mistress, who continues faithful to me, notwithstanding the scandalous Reports she had heard to my Prejudice — I am mortified with an Assurance that her whole Fortune depends upon the Pleasure of her Brother-Mr. Freeman condoles me on the Decline of my Character, which I vindicate so much to his satisfaction, that he undertakes to combat Fame on my behalf

Chapter LIX

I receive an extraordinary Message at the Door of the Long Room, which, however, enter, and affront the Squire, who threatens to take the Law of me — Rebuke Melinda for her Malice — she weeps with Vexation — Lord Quiverwit is severe upon me — I retort his Sarcasm — am received with the utmost Tenderness by Narcissa, who desires to hear the Story of my Life — we vow eternal Constancy to other — I retire — am waked by a Messenger, who brings a Challenge from Quiverwit, whom I meet, engage, and vanquish

Chapter LX

I am visited by Freeman, with whom I appear in Public, and am caressed-am sent for by Lord Quiverwit, whose Presence I quit flung — Narcissa is carried off by her Brother — I intend to pursue him, and am dissuaded by my Friend — engage in Play, and lose all my Money — set out for London — try my Fortune at the Gaming Table without success — receive a letter from Narcissa — bilk my Tailor

Chapter LXI

I am arrested — carried to the Marshalsea — find my old Acquaintance beau Jackson in that Jail — he informs me of his Adventures — Strap arrives, and with difficulty is comforted — Jackson introduces me to a Poet — I admire his Conversation and Capacity — am deeply affected with my Misfortune — Strap hires himself as a Journeyman Barber

Chapter LXII

I read Melopoyn’s Tragedy, and conceive a vast Opinion of his Genius — he recounts his Adventures

Chapter LXIII

The Continuation and Conclusion of Mr. Melopoyn’s Story

Chapter LXIV

I am seized with a deep Melancholy, and become a Sloven — am relieved by my Uncle — he prevails upon me to engage with his Owners, as a Surgeon of the Ship which he commands — he makes me a considerable Present — entertain Strap as his steward — I take leave of my Friends, and go on Board — the Ship arrives in the Downs

Chapter LXV

I set out for Sussex — consult Mrs. Sagely — achieve an Interview with Narcissa — return to the Ship — we get clear of the Channel — I learn our Destination — we are chased by a large Ship — the company are dismayed, and encouraged by the Captain’s speech — our pursuer happens to be an English Man of War — we arrive at the Coast of Guinea, purchase four hundred Negroes — sail for Paraguay, get safe into the River of Plate, and sell our Cargo to great Advantage

Chapter LXVI

I am invited to the Villa of a Spanish Don, where we went with an English Gentleman, and make a very interesting discovery — we leave Buenos Ayres, and arrive at Jamaica

Chapter LXVII

I visit my old Friend Thompson — we set sail for Europe — meet with an odd Adventure — arrive in England — I ride across the Country from Portsmouth to Sussex — converse with Mrs. Sagely, who informs me of Narcissa’s being in London — in consequence of this Intelligence, I proceed to Canterbury — meet with my old friend Morgan — arrive in London — visit Narcissa — introduce my Father to be — he is charmed with her good sense and beauty — we come to a Determination of demanding her Brother’s Consent to our Marriage

Chapter LXVIII

My Father makes a present to Narcissa — the Letter is dispatched to her Brother — I appear among my Acquaintance — Banter’s Behaviour — the Squire refuses his Consent — my Uncle comes to Town — approves of my Choice — I am married — we meet the Squire and his Lady at the Play — our Acquaintance is courted

Chapter LXIX

My father intends to revisit the Place of his Nativity — we propose to accompany him — my Uncle renews his will in my favour, determining to go to sea again — we set out for Scotland — arrive at Edinburgh — purchase our paternal Estate — proceed to it — halt at the Town where I was educated — take up my bond to Crab — the Behaviour of Potion and his Wife, and one of our Female Cousins — our Reception at the Estate — Strap marries Miss Williams, and is settled by my Father to his own satisfaction — I am more and more happy.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00