BOOK III. CONTAINING THE MOST MEMORABLE TRANSACTIONS WHICH PASSED IN THE FAMILY OF MR ALLWORTHY, FROM THE TIME WHEN TOMMY JONES ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, TILL HE ATTAINED THE AGE OF NINETEEN. IN THIS BOOK THE READER MAY PICK UP SOME HINTS CONCERNING
5. Chapter v. The opinions of the divine and the philosopher...
All this, however, weighed very little with Mr Allworthy. He could not
be prevailed on to sign the warrant for the execution of Jones. There
was something within his own breast with which the invincible fidelity
which that youth had preserved, corresponded much better than it had
done with the religion of Thwackum, or with the virtue of Square. He
therefore strictly ordered the former of these gentlemen to abstain
from laying violent hands on Tom for what had past. The pedagogue was
obliged to obey those orders; but not without great reluctance, and
frequent mutterings that the boy would be certainly spoiled.
Towards the gamekeeper the good man behaved with more severity. He
presently summoned that poor fellow before him, and after many bitter
remonstrances, paid him his wages, and dismist him from his service;
for Mr Allworthy rightly observed, that there was a great difference
between being guilty of a falsehood to excuse yourself, and to excuse
another. He likewise urged, as the principal motive to his inflexible
severity against this man, that he had basely suffered Tom Jones to
undergo so heavy a punishment for his sake, whereas he ought to have
prevented it by making the discovery himself.
When this story became public, many people differed from Square and
Thwackum, in judging the conduct of the two lads on the occasion.
Master Blifil was generally called a sneaking rascal, a poor-spirited
wretch, with other epithets of the like kind; whilst Tom was honoured
with the appellations of a brave lad, a jolly dog, and an honest
fellow. Indeed, his behaviour to Black George much ingratiated him
with all the servants; for though that fellow was before universally
disliked, yet he was no sooner turned away than he was as universally
pitied; and the friendship and gallantry of Tom Jones was celebrated
by them all with the highest applause; and they condemned Master
Blifil as openly as they durst, without incurring the danger of
offending his mother. For all this, however, poor Tom smarted in the
flesh; for though Thwackum had been inhibited to exercise his arm on
the foregoing account, yet, as the proverb says, It is easy to find a
stick, &c. So was it easy to find a rod; and, indeed, the not being
able to find one was the only thing which could have kept Thwackum any
long time from chastising poor Jones.