Study Guide

Joseph Andrews Book 1, Chapters 16-18

By Henry Fielding

Book 1, Chapters 16-18

  • In the midst of all the chaos, the thief escapes. Good going, guys.
  • Adams tries to borrow three guineas from Mr. Tow-wouse, but Tow-wouse is having none of it. Even though Adams offers him security in the form of his sermons, Tow-wouse gives him a flat "No."
  • Around this time, Barnabas realizes another clergyman is in the house. While Adams smokes away at his pipe, the two religious men discuss Adams's sermons. Aww, Adams has a friend.
  • Joseph has miraculously made a full recovery (what was wrong with him, again?), so he agrees to go on his way to the Booby country-house. Looks like this is going to be a short reunion between Adams and Joseph.
  • Anyway, Adams is occupied with his new friend, Barnabas. And Barnabus has a friend who happens to be a bookseller.
  • Adams tries to get the bookseller friend to publish his sermons, but the bookseller isn't into sermons.
  • But what the hey, the bookseller will take the sermons with him to London, anyway.
  • Adams and Barnabus start a long conversation about the merits of George Whitfield. Who's Whitfield? He's a religious scholar who's more into prayer than pleasure.
  • Of course, this is reason enough for Barnabus to hate Whitfield.
  • In arguing for Whitfield, Adams reveals that his sermons are more in favor of heathens than "vicious Christians."
  • The bookseller is shocked to hear this. Whoops, he's no longer interested in selling Adams's sermons.
  • This heated discussion is interrupted by a major commotion. And it's a dramatic one, guys.
  • Mrs. Tow-wouse has caught Betty in bed with Mr. Tow-wouse. In fact, you might say that Mrs. Tow-wouse is on the warpath.
  • See, Betty tried to get it on with Joseph, and Joseph, naturally, didn't want her, so she settled for second-best… and that would be Mr. Tow-wouse.
  • Now that Mr. Tow-wouse is branded an adulterer, he has to be nice to Mrs. Tow-wouse for the rest of his life.

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