This print describes a good man's heart,
Who meant to take the orphan's part;
And may distress forever find,
A friend like him to be so kind.






THIS very fortunate young Man, when only a few days old, was put fast asleep into Mr. All­worthy's bed, on the same night that gentleman re­turned from London, to his Country House, which was about a mile from Bath— [Page 6] Mr. Allworthy came home late in the evening, and af­ter a short supper with his sister, retired, much fatigued to his chamber: Here, after having spent some Minutes on his knees, a custom which he never broke thro' on any account, he was preparing to step into bed, when, on opening the clothes, to his great surprise, he beheld the Infant, wrapt up in some coarse linen, in a sweet and profound sleep, [Page 7] between his sheets; he stood some time lost in astonish­ment at the sight, but as good nature had always an ascendancy in his mind, he was soon touched with sen­timents of compassion for the little wretch before him, and rang the bell, which called up his housekeeper, Mrs. Deborah Wilkins.—She being a strict observer of decency, was exceedingly alarmed, on entering her master's room, to find him [Page 8] undressed, but more so on his presenting her with the child, which he ordered im­mediately to be taken care of; although she took the liberty to advise him to have it placed at the Church-Warden's door; "It is a goodly night, says she, only a little rainy and windy, but if it is well wrapt up, and put into a warm basket, it is two to one but he lives until he is found in the morning." [Page 9] This goodly advice of his housekeeper, it is most pro­bable Mr Allworthy did not hear, for by this time he had got one of his fingers in the infant's hand, which by its gentle pressure, seem­ed to implore his assistance. Some months after, his sister, Mrs. Blifill, brought him a nephew, and Mr. Allworthy gave the nurse strict orders to bring them up together, and not make the least distinction be­tween [Page 10] the two boys; and was often heard to say, if Tommy turned out good, he would be as a father to him, and as he was very rich it was greatly in his power to be so. But tho' his goodness preserved the poor orphan, he was exceeding angry with the person who placed him in his bed, and caused the most diligent search to be made, in order to find the party; declaring, if he [Page 11] found them out he would immediately commit them to prison, which, as a jus­tice of the peace, it was in his power to do; but the search was fruitless.

Nothing material hap­pened respecting Master Bli­fill and Master Jones, of consequence sufficient for a place in this history, until they were about eight years of age. But before I proceed, it is, I think, neces­sary to inform the reader, [Page 12] why he took upon him the name of Jones, it was caus­ed, I am told, from a strong suspicion, that one Molly Jones (servant to Mr. Par­tridge, a schoolmaster in the neighbourhood) was the person who put him into Mr. Allworthy's bed; she left her place about that time and making nobody acquainted where she was gone to, was in most peo­ple's opinion, grounds suffi­cient to conclude her the [Page 13] person; so all agreed, that Jones should be the name of the boy. I wish it was in my power as clearly to account for his christian name, there history is shamefully deficient. But I will detain you no lon­ger with digressions, for in my opinion it is but of lit­tle moment; tho' some very learned men have taken the pains to write folio volumes on subjects more trivial than even what caus­ed [Page 14] Jones to be named Tom.

I observed, that nothing material happened till they were eight years old, at that time 'Squire Western, a Gentleman who lived about a mile distant, invited Mr. Allworthy to take a dinner with him, and bring along his two ne­phews (for by that name did he suffer the poor help­less orphan to be called) they all had made a hearty [Page 15] dinner, and Mr. Western returned thanks to Al­mighty God for the same, when he told Master Bli­fill and Master Jones, they might go and play together, if it was agreeable to Mr. Allworthy; the good man readily consented. They had been but a very little time at play, when Miss Sophy, Mr. Western's only child, a girl about their own age, made a third, and she being willing, like [Page 16] a good soul, to divert them all in her power, said, she had a Goldfinch in the house quite tame, which she had brought up her­self from a week old, and was very fond of, and if they chose she would bring it into the garden, to shew them. Here she is with a bit of string tied round the bird's leg.

[Page 17]


The two lads were migh­tily pleased with the bird; and after admiring him some time, Master Blifil begged Sophy would let him hold the string himself; [Page 18] she was, however, very un­willing to part with it, but as he pledged his word and honour, he would return the bird to her as safe as he received it, she could then no longer object; but the instant she put the bird in his hands he slipt the string from his leg and away he flew. Little Jones was extremely angry with Master Blifill for behaving so, and sorry for poor little Sophy, who stood crying [Page 19] for the loss of her favourite bird. Tom observed where he flew, off goes his clothes, he climbs the tree, and puts his hand on the poor little trembling tame creature, & presents it to Miss Sophy.


[Page 20] You cannot imagine how much little Jones gained Sophy's good will for recovering her bird, and how much Master Blifill had displeased her by his behaviour. The moment Mr. Western was informed how Blifill had served his little darling's bird, he said that if Blifill was not flog­ged for it on his return home, he would never speak to Mr. Allworthy again; to this Mr. Allworthy rea­dily [Page 21] agreed, for he was as much displeased with Mas­ter Blifill as Mr. Western could be.

Tom's generous disposi­tion in recovering the bird, made a deep impression on Sophy, and as they grew up together, and continued neighbours, he had frequent opportunities of exerting himself in the assistance of Miss Western. One time she had been taking a ride on a young spirited horse, [Page 22] who threw her off, and, if Jones had not been near and caught her in his arms,


it is most likely the fall would have broke her neck; by saving her, he broke his [Page 23] own arm, "but, said he, if I have preserved you, Miss Sophy, I am sufficiently re­paid, for I promise you, I would have secured you from the least harm at the expence of a much greater misfortune to myself than I have suffered on the occa­sion."

When Mr. Western was informed that Mr. Jones had saved his daughter's life, he was in raptures, and positively declared, that if [Page 24] both the parties were wil­ling, they should go through the world together, and that he would give Sophy to him in marriage with twenty thousand pounds. They both cheerfully con­sented to this offer, and a day was fixed for the wed­ding: This was joy indeed to Mr. Allworthy, for you must recollect his usual say­ing, "I will be as a father to him, if he turns out a good boy;" and so he was, [Page 25] for on the wedding day, he gave Mr. Jones exactly the same sum of money, as Mr. Western gave to Sophy, so that their fortunes were equal.


[Page 26] They now ride about the country in their coach and six, the happiest couple I believe, in the world, and often joke with each other about the recovery of the Goldfinch. They take pleasure in assisting the distressed, and have the prayers of all the poor folks in the country; on the con­trary, Blifill having of­fended his uncle a great many times, and made every person he was [Page 27] acquainted with, dislike him, was at last turned out of Mr. Allworthy's house, and on the point of inlist­ing as a common soldier for Africa.


[Page 28] When Mr. Jones hear­ing of his distress, gener­ously insisted on his ac­cepting Fifty Pounds a year for his Life; for al­though Mr. Jones was in­timately acquainted with the many falshoods Blifill had told his uncle, with an intent to injure him in that good man's opinion, yet he was of so good and forgiving a disposition, that it was impossible for him to see a person in distress [Page 29] and not afford him some assistance; especially one he had been brought up with from a child, and who would have been heir to Mr. Allworthy's great estate, had not his own unhappy vicious dis­position prevented it.

For vice will always be detected,
And virtue ever be protected.

If this true History, my little friends, makes the im­pression [Page 30] on your minds which I intend it should, I shall then have no reason to lament the pains I have taken to collect the mate­rials which form it. I was born and brought up in the same parish with both the lads, Jones's heart was generous and good, and glad was I to find Mr. All­worthy had understanding enough to discover it thro' the clouds of imprudence with which it was sur­rounded; [Page 31] but believe me, let your disposition be ever so good, it is a thousand to one you meet with such a friend to protect you, as Jones found in Mr. All­worthy. Therefore in a word, reader, let me advise you to be particularly care­ful, that none of your games at play be such as will in­jure or offend any of your neighbours.


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