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
2. Chapter ii. The heroe of this great history appears...
The heroe of this great history appears with very bad omens. A little
tale of so LOW a kind that some may think it not worth their notice. A
word or two concerning a squire, and more relating to a gamekeeper and
As we determined, when we first sat down to write this history, to
flatter no man, but to guide our pen throughout by the directions of
truth, we are obliged to bring our heroe on the stage in a much more
disadvantageous manner than we could wish; and to declare honestly,
even at his first appearance, that it was the universal opinion of all
Mr Allworthy's family that he was certainly born to be hanged.
Indeed, I am sorry to say there was too much reason for this
conjecture; the lad having from his earliest years discovered a
propensity to many vices, and especially to one which hath as direct a
tendency as any other to that fate which we have just now observed to
have been prophetically denounced against him: he had been already
convicted of three robberies, viz., of robbing an orchard, of stealing
a duck out of a farmer's yard, and of picking Master Blifil's pocket
of a ball.
The vices of this young man were, moreover, heightened by the
disadvantageous light in which they appeared when opposed to the
virtues of Master Blifil, his companion; a youth of so different a
cast from little Jones, that not only the family but all the
neighbourhood resounded his praises. He was, indeed, a lad of a
remarkable disposition; sober, discreet, and pious beyond his age;
qualities which gained him the love of every one who knew him: while
Tom Jones was universally disliked; and many expressed their wonder
that Mr Allworthy would suffer such a lad to be educated with his
nephew, lest the morals of the latter should be corrupted by his
An incident which happened about this time will set the characters of
these two lads more fairly before the discerning reader than is in the
power of the longest dissertation.