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
8. Chapter viii. A childish incident...
"Indeed, my dear sir, I love and honour you more than all the world: I
know the great obligations I have to you, and should detest myself if
I thought my heart was capable of ingratitude. Could the little horse
you gave me speak, I am sure he could tell you how fond I was of your
present; for I had more pleasure in feeding him than in riding him.
Indeed, sir, it went to my heart to part with him; nor would I have
sold him upon any other account in the world than what I did. You
yourself, sir, I am convinced, in my case, would have done the same:
for none ever so sensibly felt the misfortunes of others. What would
you feel, dear sir, if you thought yourself the occasion of them?
Indeed, sir, there never was any misery like theirs."
"Like whose, child?" says Allworthy: "What do you mean?"
"Oh, sir!" answered Tom, "your poor gamekeeper, with all his large
family, ever since your discarding him, have been perishing with all
the miseries of cold and hunger: I could not bear to see these poor
wretches naked and starving, and at the same time know myself to have
been the occasion of all their sufferings. I could not bear it, sir;
upon my soul, I could not." [Here the tears ran down his cheeks, and
he thus proceeded.] "It was to save them from absolute destruction I
parted with your dear present, notwithstanding all the value I had for
it: I sold the horse for them, and they have every farthing of the
Mr Allworthy now stood silent for some moments, and before he spoke
the tears started from his eyes. He at length dismissed Tom with a
gentle rebuke, advising him for the future to apply to him in cases of
distress, rather than to use extraordinary means of relieving them
This affair was afterwards the subject of much debate between Thwackum
and Square. Thwackum held, that this was flying in Mr Allworthy's
face, who had intended to punish the fellow for his disobedience. He
said, in some instances, what the world called charity appeared to him
to be opposing the will of the Almighty, which had marked some
particular persons for destruction; and that this was in like manner
acting in opposition to Mr Allworthy; concluding, as usual, with a
hearty recommendation of birch.