Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 4, Chapter 4

By Henry Fielding

Book 4, Chapter 4

Containing Such Very Deep and Grave Matters, That Some Readers, Perhaps, May Not Relish It

  • Mr. Square thinks it's a sign of Master Blifil's great moral fiber that he refuses to "confine anything […] against the law of nature" (4.4.1).
  • Mr. Thwackum says that, yes, Master Blifil is great, but not because of the laws of nature.
  • Mr. Thwackum believes that Master Blifil let the bird go out of his Christian religious faith.
  • Both of them start their usual nature-vs.-religion arguments.
  • Squire Western jumps in to say that it was wrong for Master Blifil to steal Sophia's bird
  • Squire Western asks a lawyer dining with them what he thinks of this whole debate.
  • The lawyer can think only in terms of whether or not a lawsuit is justified.
  • He doesn't think that anyone should sue Master Blifil. (So, that's super-helpful.)
  • Anyway, Squire Western raises a toast to Tom for being brave enough to try and rescue the bird.
  • And Squire Allworthy carries Misters Thwackum and Square's drunk selves home in his carriage.