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
1. Chapter i. Containing little or nothing.
Containing little or nothing.
The reader will be pleased to remember, that, at the beginning of the
second book of this history, we gave him a hint of our intention to
pass over several large periods of time, in which nothing happened
worthy of being recorded in a chronicle of this kind.
In so doing, we do not only consult our own dignity and ease, but the
good and advantage of the reader: for besides that by these means we
prevent him from throwing away his time, in reading without either
pleasure or emolument, we give him, at all such seasons, an
opportunity of employing that wonderful sagacity, of which he is
master, by filling up these vacant spaces of time with his own
conjectures; for which purpose we have taken care to qualify him in
the preceding pages.
For instance, what reader but knows that Mr Allworthy felt, at first,
for the loss of his friend, those emotions of grief, which on such
occasions enter into all men whose hearts are not composed of flint,
or their heads of as solid materials? Again, what reader doth not know
that philosophy and religion in time moderated, and at last
extinguished, this grief? The former of these teaching the folly and
vanity of it, and the latter correcting it as unlawful, and at the
same time assuaging it, by raising future hopes and assurances, which
enable a strong and religious mind to take leave of a friend, on his
deathbed, with little less indifference than if he was preparing for a
long journey; and, indeed, with little less hope of seeing him again.
Nor can the judicious reader be at a greater loss on account of Mrs
Bridget Blifil, who, he may be assured, conducted herself through the
whole season in which grief is to make its appearance on the outside
of the body, with the strictest regard to all the rules of custom and
decency, suiting the alterations of her countenance to the several
alterations of her habit: for as this changed from weeds to black,
from black to grey, from grey to white, so did her countenance change
from dismal to sorrowful, from sorrowful to sad, and from sad to
serious, till the day came in which she was allowed to return to her