SQUIRE WESTERN?

Squire Western was a typical specimen of the eighteenth-century fox-hunting squire. A University education had not cured him of rusticity of speech or of behaviour, and he remained to the end of his days ignorant and prejudiced. His native good temper was not proof against the irascibility which overcame him when he had drunk too deeply, and as this was wont to happen every afternoon the life of his young daughter Sophia was no bed of roses. It says much for Sophia Western's inherent sweetness of disposition that she continued to love and respect her father in spite of his frequent foulness of language and manners. No doubt she realised that underneath his roughness and brusqueness her father loved her to the point of idolatry, and that his tyrannical attitude was the outcome of a jealous possessiveness. For all his countrified ways, Squire Western was not stupid; indeed, he manifested considerable shrewdness upon occasions, and was an ill man to have for an enemy. Fielding drew the average country gentleman of his day very truly in Squire Western, of " Tom Jones."