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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 Master Blifil. 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 neighborhood resounded his praises. He was, indeed, a lad of 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 example.
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.
Tom Jones, who, bad as he is, must serve for the hero of this history, had only one friend among all the servants of the family. This friend was the gamekeeper, a fellow of a loose kind of disposition and who was thought not to entertain much stricter notions concerning the difference of meum and tuum than the young gentleman himself, and hence this friendship gave occasion to many sarcastical remarks among the domestics, most of which were either proverbs before, or at least had become so now: and indeed the wit of them all may be comprised in that short Latin proverb, Noscitur a socio; which, I think, is thus expressed in English : “You may know him by the company he keeps.' Contiguous to Mr. Allworthy's estate was the manor of one
Preservers of of these gentlemen who are called preservers of the game. the game. This species of men, from the great severity with which they revenge the death of a hare or partridge, might be thought to cultivate the same superstitions with the Bannians in India, many of whom we are told dedicate their whole lives to the preservation and protection of certain animals; was it not that our English Bannians while they preserve them from other enemies will most unmercifully slaughter whole horse-loads themselves; so that they stand clearly acquitted of any such heathenish superstition.
Now, as Horace tells us that there are a set of human beings
Tom goes out with the gamekeeper.
Fruges consumere nati, “ Born to consume the fruits of the earth”; so I make no manner of doubt but that there are others
Feras consumere nati, "Born to consume the beasts of the field”; or, as it is commonly called, the game ; and none, I believe, will deny but that those squires fulfil this end of their creation.
Little Jones went one day a shooting with the gamekeeper; when happening to spring a covey of partridges near the border of that manor over which fortune, to fulfil the wise purposes of nature, had planted one of the game consumers, the birds flew into it, and were marked (as it is called) by the two sportsmen, in some furze bushes, about two or three hundred paces beyond Mr. Allworthy's dominions.
Mr. Allworthy had given the fellow strict orders, on pain of forfeiting his place, never to trespass on any of his neighbors; 'no more on those who were less rigid in this matter than on the lord of this manor. With regard to others, indeed, these orders had not been always very scrupulously kept; but as the disposition of the gentleman with whom the partridges had taken sanctuary was well known, the gamekeeper had never yet attempted to invade his territories. Nor had he done it now, had not the younger sportsman, who was excessively eager to pursue the flying game, over-persuaded him ; but Jones being very importunate, the other, who was himself keen enough after the sport, yielded to his persuasions, entered the manor, and shot one of the partridges.
The gentleman himself was at that time on horseback, at a little distance from them; and hearing the gun go off, he immediately made toward the place, and discovered poor Tom; for the gamekeeper had leapt into the thickest part of the furze-brake, where he had happily concealed himself.
The gentleman having searched the lad, and found the partridge upon him, denounced great vengeance, swearing he would acquaint Mr. Allworthy. He was as good as his word ; for he rode immediately to his house, and complained of the trespass on his manor in as high terms and as bitter language as if his house had been broken open and the most valuable furniture stole out of it. He added that some other person was in his company, though he could not discover him ; for
Discovered with a partridge.
that two guns had been discharged almost in the same instant. And, says he, “We have found only this partridge, but the Lord knows what mischief they have done.”.
At his return home Tom was presently convened before Mr. Allworthy. He owned the fact, and alleged no other excuse but what was really true, viz., that the covey was originally sprung in Mr. Allworthy's own manor. Tom was then interrogated who was with him, which Mr.
Tom refuses to Allworthy declared he was resolved to know, acquainting the betray his culprit with the circumstance of the two guns, which had been companion. deposed by the squire and both his servants; but Tom stoutly persisted in asserting that he was alone; yet, to say the truth, he hesitated a little at first, which would have confirmed Mr. Allworthy's belief had what the squire and his servants said wanted any further confirmation.
The gamekeeper, being a suspected person, was now sent for, and the question put to him ; but he, relying on the prom
1 ise which Tom had made him, to take all upon himself, very resolutely denied being in company with the young gentleman, or indeed having seen him the whole afternoon.
Mr. Allworthy then turned toward Tom, with more than usual anger in his countenance, and advised him to confess who was with him ; repeating that he was resolved to know. The lad, however, still maintained his resolution, and was dismissed with much wrath by Mr. Allworthy, who told him he should have to the next morning to consider of it, when he should be questioned by another person and in another manner.
Poor Jones spent a very melancholy night; and the more so as he was without his usual companion ; for Master Blifil was gone abroad on a visit with his mother. Fear of the punishment he was to suffer was on this occasion his least evil; his chief anxiety being lest his constancy should fail him, and he should be brought to betray the gamekeeper, whose ruin he knew must now be the consequence.
Nor did the gamekeeper pass the time much better. He had the same apprehensions with the youth for whose humor he had likewise a much tenderer regard than for his skin.
In the morning when Tom attended the reverend Mr. Thwackum, the person to whom Mr. Allworthy had committed
His punishthe instruction of the two boys, he had the same questions put ment. to him by that gentleman which he had been asked the evening
before, to which he returned the same answer. The consequence was a severe whipping, which he bore with great resolution, rather than betray his friend or break the promise he had made.
The gamekeeper was now relieved from his anxiety, and Mr. Allworthy himself began to be concerned at Tom's sufferings; now as cruelty and injustice were two ideas of which Mr. Allworthy could by no means support the consciousness a single moment he sent for Tom and said: “I am convinced,
my dear child, that my suspicions have wronged you, I am Mr. Allworthy's kindness.
sorry you have been so severely punished on this account.” And at last gave him a little horse to make him amends.
Tom's guilt now flew in his face more than any severity could make it. The tears burst from his eyes, and he fell on his knees, crying, “Oh, sir, you are too good to me.
Indeed you Indeed, I don't deserve it.” And at that very instant, from the fulness of his heart, had almost betrayed the secret ; but the good genius of the gamekeeper suggested to him what might be the consequence to the poor fellow, and this consideration sealed his lips.
Thwackum did all he could to persuade Allworthy from showing any compassion or kindness to the boy, saying, “He had persisted in an untruth”; and gave some hints that a second whipping might probably bring the matter to light.
But Mr. Allworthy absolutely refused to consent to the experiment. He said the boy had suffered enough already for concealing the truth, even if he was guilty, seeing that he could have no motive but a mistaken point of honor for so doing.
“Honor!” cried Thwackum with some wrath, “mere stubbornness and obstinacy! Can honor teach any one to tell a lie, or can any honor exist independent of religion?" A childish incident, in which, however, is seen a good-natured
disposition in Tom Jones.
The reader may remember that Mr. Allworthy gave Tom Jones a little horse, as a kind of smart-money for the punishment which he imagined he had suffered innocently.
This horse Tom kept above half a year, and then rode him The horse sold. to a neighboring fair and sold him. On his return, being ques
tioned by Thwackum what he had done with the money for which the horse was sold, he frankly declared he would not tell
him. Mr. Allworthy, entering the room, took him with him into another apartment; where, being himself only present with Tom, he put the same question to him which Thwackum had before asked him.
Tom answered, he could in duty refuse him nothing ; but as for that tyrannical rascal, he would never make him any other answer than with a cudgel, with which he hoped soon to be able to pay him for all his barbarities.
Mr. Allworthy very severely reprimanded the lad for his indecent and disrespectful expressions concerning his master ;
manded. but much more for his avowing an intention of revenge. He threatened him with the entire loss of his favor if he ever heard such another word from his mouth; for, he said, he would never support or befriend a reprobate. By these and the like declarations, he extorted some compunction from Tom, in which that youth was not over-sincere; for he really meditated some return for all the smarting favors he had received at the hands of the pedagogue. He was, however, brought by Mr. Allworthy to express a concern for his resentment against Thwackum; and then the good man, after some wholesome admonition, permitted him to proceed, which he did as follows :
“Indeed, my dear sir, I love and honor you more than all the world: I know the great obligations I have to you, and His defense. should detest myself if I thought my heart was capable of ingratitude. Could the little horse you gave me speak, I am sure he could tell you how fond I was of your present; for I had more pleasure in feeding him than in riding him. Indeed, sir, it went to my heart to part with him ; nor would I have sold him upon any other account in the world than what I did. You yourself, sir, I am convinced, in my case, would have done the same; for none ever so sensibly felt the misfortunes of others. What would you feel, dear sir, if you thought yourself the occasion of them? Indeed, sir, there never was, any misery like theirs."
“Like whose, child?” says Allworthy. “What do you mean?"
“Oh, sir !” answered Tom, “your poor gamekeeper, with all his large family, ever since your discarding him, have been perishing with all the miseries of cold and hunger : I could not bear to see these poor wretches naked and starving, and at the same time know myself to have been the occasion of all their