The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (Penguin Classics)
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A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire—though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished to make his own fortune and Sophia follows him to London to escape an arranged marriage, the adventure begins. A vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life, spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections, Tom Jones is one of the greatest and most ambitious comic novels in English literature.
• Includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, notes, glossary, and an appendix of Fielding's revisions
• Introduction discusses narrative tecniques and themes, the context of eighteenth-century fiction and satire, and the historical and political background of the Jacobite revolution
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came at the Break of Day to the Side of a large Wood, where he suddenly stopped, and affecting to meditate a Moment with himself, expressed some Apprehensions from travelling any longer in so public a Way. Upon which he easily persuaded his fair Companion to strike with him into a Path which seemed to lead directly through the Wood, and which at length brought them both to the Bottom of Mazard-Hill. Whether the execrable Scheme which he now attempted to execute, was the Effect of previous
nothing; ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and hath been Slave to Thousands: But he that filches from me my good Name, Robs me of that WHICH NOT ENRICHES HIM, BUT MAKES ME POOR INDEED.2 With all this my good Reader will doubtless agree; but much of it will probably seem too severe, when applied to the Slanderer of Books. But let it here be considered, that both proceed from the same wicked Disposition of Mind, and are alike void of the Excuse of Temptation. Nor shall we conclude the Injury done this Way to
Comfort upon Earth but his little Sophy.’ At these Words the Tears stood in his Eyes; and Sophia, (with the Tears streaming from hers) answered, ‘Indeed, my dear Papa, I know you have loved me tenderly, and Heaven is my Witness how sincerely I have returned your Affection; nor could any thing but an Apprehension of being forced into the Arms of this Man, have driven me to run from a Father whom I love so passionately, that I would, with Pleasure, sacrifice my Life to his Happiness; nay, I have
expected the simple Dictates of Nature, unimproved indeed, but likewise unadulterated by Art. In the first Row then of the first Gallery did Mr. Jones, Mrs. Miller, her youngest Daughter, and Partridge, take their Places. Partridge immediately declared, it was the finest Place he had ever been in. When the first Music was played, he said, ‘It was a Wonder how so many Fidlers could play at one Time, without putting one another out.’ While the Fellow was lighting the upper Candles, he cried out to
the power of everyone (Virgil, Eclogues, viii. 63). Non si male nunc & olim sic erit (VIII. v). If things go badly today, it will not always be like this (Horace, Odes, II. x. 17–18). Non sum qualis eram (XV. xii; XVIII. v). I am not what I used to be (Horace, Odes, IV. i. 3). non tanto me dignor honore (VIII. iv). I am not worthy of so much honour (adapting Virgil, Aeneid, i. 335). Nulla fides fronti (XVI. v). No faith in faces (adapting Juvenal, Satires, ii. 8). orandum est ut sit mens