BOOK IV. CONTAINING THE TIME OF A YEAR.
3. Chapter iii. Wherein the history goes back...
Wherein the history goes back to commemorate a trifling incident that
happened some years since; but which, trifling as it was, had some
The amiable Sophia was now in her eighteenth year, when she is
introduced into this history. Her father, as hath been said, was
fonder of her than of any other human creature. To her, therefore, Tom
Jones applied, in order to engage her interest on the behalf of his
friend the gamekeeper.
But before we proceed to this business, a short recapitulation of some
previous matters may be necessary.
Though the different tempers of Mr Allworthy and of Mr Western did not
admit of a very intimate correspondence, yet they lived upon what is
called a decent footing together; by which means the young people of
both families had been acquainted from their infancy; and as they were
all near of the same age, had been frequent playmates together.
The gaiety of Tom's temper suited better with Sophia, than the grave
and sober disposition of Master Blifil. And the preference which she
gave the former of these, would often appear so plainly, that a lad of
a more passionate turn than Master Blifil was, might have shown some
displeasure at it.
As he did not, however, outwardly express any such disgust, it would
be an ill office in us to pay a visit to the inmost recesses of his
mind, as some scandalous people search into the most secret affairs of
their friends, and often pry into their closets and cupboards, only to
discover their poverty and meanness to the world.
However, as persons who suspect they have given others cause of
offence, are apt to conclude they are offended; so Sophia imputed an
action of Master Blifil to his anger, which the superior sagacity of
Thwackum and Square discerned to have arisen from a much better
Tom Jones, when very young, had presented Sophia with a little bird,
which he had taken from the nest, had nursed up, and taught to sing.