the Pretender's claim is specious, a threat to both constitution and the Protestant Succession. These same principles, Mr. Downie argues, unambiguously inform Tom Jones. In response to arguments about Fielding's narrative irony extending to the beliefs of Tom--the novel teetering between two ``illegitimacies''--Mr. Downie reads Tom's political and religious statements as expressions of Fielding's own firmly Whig and latitudinarian beliefs. And in an eye-opening account, the discussion of the Forty-Five in the Man of the Hill section comments topically on the political situation immediately preceding the publication of Tom Jones--ministerial propaganda in reference to the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in the autumn of 1748, not 1745. Fielding's late works were written while he was magistrate for Westminster, and questions of stability, crime, and punishment inform them all (including the dark Amelia). An Enquiry Into the Causes of the late Increase of Robbers (1750) is ``the most extended statement of the paternalistic ideal at the heart of Fielding's political thought.'' The conservative view that power is most safely invested in landed gentlemen is the bass note of Fielding's politics. By blaming Walpolean corruption and self-interest for undermining a hierarchical society based on deference and subordination, Fielding is not satirizing Whiggism,
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