BOOK IV. CONTAINING THE TIME OF A YEAR.
4. Chapter iv. Containing such very deep and grave matters
Allworthy answered, "That he was sorry for what his nephew had done,
but could not consent to punish him, as he acted rather from a
generous than unworthy motive." He said, "If the boy had stolen the
bird, none would have been more ready to vote for a severe
chastisement than himself; but it was plain that was not his design:"
and, indeed, it was as apparent to him, that he could have no other
view but what he had himself avowed. (For as to that malicious purpose
which Sophia suspected, it never once entered into the head of Mr
Allworthy.) He at length concluded with again blaming the action as
inconsiderate, and which, he said, was pardonable only in a child.
Square had delivered his opinion so openly, that if he was now silent,
he must submit to have his judgment censured. He said, therefore, with
some warmth, "That Mr Allworthy had too much respect to the dirty
consideration of property. That in passing our judgments on great and
mighty actions, all private regards should be laid aside; for by
adhering to those narrow rules, the younger Brutus had been condemned
of ingratitude, and the elder of parricide."
"And if they had been hanged too for those crimes," cried Thwackum,
"they would have had no more than their deserts. A couple of
heathenish villains! Heaven be praised we have no Brutuses now-a-days!
I wish, Mr Square, you would desist from filling the minds of my
pupils with such antichristian stuff; for the consequence must be,
while they are under my care, its being well scourged out of them
again. There is your disciple Tom almost spoiled already. I overheard
him the other day disputing with Master Blifil that there was no merit
in faith without works. I know that is one of your tenets, and I
suppose he had it from you."
"Don't accuse me of spoiling him," says Square. "Who taught him to
laugh at whatever is virtuous and decent, and fit and right in the
nature of things? He is your own scholar, and I disclaim him. No, no,
Master Blifil is my boy. Young as he is, that lad's notions of moral
rectitude I defy you ever to eradicate."
Thwackum put on a contemptuous sneer at this, and replied, "Ay, ay, I
will venture him with you. He is too well grounded for all your
philosophical cant to hurt. No, no, I have taken care to instil such
principles into him--"