Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 1, Chapter 8

By Henry Fielding

Book 1, Chapter 8

A Dialogue Between Mesdames Bridget, and Deborah; Containing More Amusement, but Less Instruction Than the Former

  • Bridget and Mrs. Wilkins sit listening at the keyhole while Squire Allworthy is talking to Jenny Jones.
  • Mrs. Wilkins is shocked that Squire Allworthy doesn't insist on hearing the name of the father of Jenny's child.
  • Bridget scolds Mrs. Wilkins for snooping into other people's business (which is rich, given that she's also listening at the keyhole).
  • (If you want an analysis of the language Fielding uses to describe Bridget's face during this scene, check out our "Tone" section.)
  • Bridget insists that Jenny Jones has behaved well through this whole thing.
  • Mrs. Wilkins quickly agrees with Bridget.
  • Inside, Mrs. Wilkins is a bit surprised at Bridget's strong defense of Jenny's character.
  • Still, Mrs. Wilkins knows it's a bad idea to disagree with her boss.