Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 3, Chapter 10

By Henry Fielding

Book 3, Chapter 10

In Which Master Blifil and Jones Appear In Different Lights

  • Master Blifil believes completely in justice, and has no sense of the importance of mercy.
  • He really wants to see the gamekeeper punished, since he is, technically, a lawbreaker.
  • It turns out that, about a year ago, the gamekeeper killed a single hare on Squire Western's property.
  • The man he sold it to later got into some trouble of his own with Squire Western.
  • In order to reduce his problems with Squire Western, this man points to Black George as the main poacher of the area.
  • This man wants to hide the identities of his real, much more successful clients while still seeming to cooperate with Squire Western.
  • So Black George gets a serious, official conviction for poaching from Squire Western, all based on one hare that he killed while his family was starving.
  • Now, back in the present day, Squire Allworthy comes home from seeing the gamekeeper's family.
  • Master Blifil (the little rat) pulls Squire Allworthy aside and tells him that Squire Western has also convicted the gamekeeper of poaching.
  • Squire Allworthy resolves that he can't hire Black George as a gamekeeper after all.
  • So then, Tom comes home, having just told the gamekeeper's wife that Squire Allworthy is going to give her husband his job back.
  • And he finds Squire Allworthy furious at Black George once again.
  • Tom decides that he has to try to get Black George another job, as gamekeeper to Squire Western.
  • Tom is popular with Squire Western, since Tom is a great sportsman.
  • (In eighteenth-century England, this means he's fantastic at riding and hunting with hounds.)
  • And Tom also decides to see if he can get sympathy for Black George from Squire Western's seventeen-year old daughter.