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...
Square saw this matter in a very different light. He said, he could
not perceive any higher crime in selling one book than in selling
another. That to sell Bibles was strictly lawful by all laws both
Divine and human, and consequently there was no unfitness in it. He
told Thwackum, that his great concern on this occasion brought to his
mind the story of a very devout woman, who, out of pure regard to
religion, stole Tillotson's Sermons from a lady of her acquaintance.
This story caused a vast quantity of blood to rush into the parson's
face, which of itself was none of the palest; and he was going to
reply with great warmth and anger, had not Mrs Blifil, who was present
at this debate, interposed. That lady declared herself absolutely of
Mr Square's side. She argued, indeed, very learnedly in support of his
opinion; and concluded with saying, if Tom had been guilty of any
fault, she must confess her own son appeared to be equally culpable;
for that she could see no difference between the buyer and the seller;
both of whom were alike to be driven out of the temple.
Mrs Blifil having declared her opinion, put an end to the debate.
Square's triumph would almost have stopt his words, had he needed
them; and Thwackum, who, for reasons before-mentioned, durst not
venture at disobliging the lady, was almost choaked with indignation.
As to Mr Allworthy, he said, since the boy had been already punished
he would not deliver his sentiments on the occasion; and whether he
was or was not angry with the lad, I must leave to the reader's own
Soon after this, an action was brought against the gamekeeper by
Squire Western (the gentleman in whose manor the partridge was
killed), for depredations of the like kind. This was a most
unfortunate circumstance for the fellow, as it not only of itself
threatened his ruin, but actually prevented Mr Allworthy from
restoring him to his favour: for as that gentleman was walking out one
evening with Master Blifil and young Jones, the latter slily drew him
to the habitation of Black George; where the family of that poor
wretch, namely, his wife and children, were found in all the misery
with which cold, hunger, and nakedness, can affect human creatures:
for as to the money they had received from Jones, former debts had
consumed almost the whole.