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
9. Chapter ix. Containing an incident of a more heinous kind...
Containing an incident of a more heinous kind, with the comments of
Thwackum and Square.
It hath been observed by some man of much greater reputation for
wisdom than myself, that misfortunes seldom come single. An instance
of this may, I believe, be seen in those gentlemen who have the
misfortune to have any of their rogueries detected; for here discovery
seldom stops till the whole is come out. Thus it happened to poor Tom;
who was no sooner pardoned for selling the horse, than he was
discovered to have some time before sold a fine Bible which Mr
Allworthy gave him, the money arising from which sale he had disposed
of in the same manner. This Bible Master Blifil had purchased, though
he had already such another of his own, partly out of respect for the
book, and partly out of friendship to Tom, being unwilling that the
Bible should be sold out of the family at half-price. He therefore
deposited the said half-price himself; for he was a very prudent lad,
and so careful of his money, that he had laid up almost every penny
which he had received from Mr Allworthy.
Some people have been noted to be able to read in no book but their
own. On the contrary, from the time when Master Blifil was first
possessed of this Bible, he never used any other. Nay, he was seen
reading in it much oftener than he had before been in his own. Now, as
he frequently asked Thwackum to explain difficult passages to him,
that gentleman unfortunately took notice of Tom's name, which was
written in many parts of the book. This brought on an inquiry, which
obliged Master Blifil to discover the whole matter.
Thwackum was resolved a crime of this kind, which he called sacrilege,
should not go unpunished. He therefore proceeded immediately to
castigation: and not contented with that he acquainted Mr Allworthy,
at their next meeting, with this monstrous crime, as it appeared to
him: inveighing against Tom in the most bitter terms, and likening him
to the buyers and sellers who were driven out of the temple.