Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 10, Chapter 3

By Henry Fielding

Book 10, Chapter 3

A Dialogue Between the Landlady and Susan the Chamber-maid, Proper to be Read by All Inn-keepers and Their Servants, With the Arrival, and the Affable Behaviour, of a Beautiful Young Lady; Which May Teach Persons of Condition How They May Acquire the Love of the Whole World

  • The landlady goes to find Susan to ask what the heck just happened.
  • Susan explains about Mr. Fitzpatrick trying to find his wife.
  • But she absolutely swears that Tom jumped out of Mrs. Waters's bed.
  • The landlady tells her to shut up.
  • If that were true, why would Mrs. Waters have shouted for help?
  • And anyway, the landlady does not want that kind of rumor about her inn to get out!
  • The narrator tells us that Mr. Fitzpatrick's wife ran away from him not only because he spent all of her money, but also because of his cruelty and jealousy.
  • Meanwhile, an owl outside Partridge's window wakes him, and he can't go back to sleep from fear of the devil.
  • So he goes down to the kitchen and falls into conversation with the landlady and Mr. Fitzpatrick's post-boy (a servant who is keeping the horses).
  • As they are chatting, two ladies arrive at the inn.
  • One of them is very richly dressed.
  • The landlady sees a chance to make some money, and offers the lady food, drink, a room—whatever she wants.
  • The lady insists that anything is fine; whatever simple room she has available will be enough for her needs.
  • She apologizes for blocking the kitchen fireplace and hopes that she hasn't made them too uncomfortable by interrupting their evening.
  • The landlady escorts this very kind, very rich young lady to her room for the night.
  • When she gets back to the kitchen, she and Partridge keep complimenting the young lady.
  • Everyone agrees that she seems really sweet.