Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 10, Chapter 5

By Henry Fielding

Book 10, Chapter 5

Shewing Who the Amiable Lady, and Her Unamiable Maid, Were

  • Of course, the lady is Sophia, and the maid is Mrs. Honour. (A shocking twist, we know.)
  • Sophia is thinking of Tom when Mrs. Honour bursts through the door and says that Tom is here, at this very inn.
  • Mrs. Honour goes back out and asks to see Tom, but Partridge refuses to wake him.
  • Unfortunately, Partridge seems to think that Mrs. Honour wants to sleep with Tom.
  • He tells her frankly that Tom is already in bed with a woman.
  • Mrs. Honour is so furious that she goes back to Sophia and tells her everything.
  • Sophia thinks there must be some mistake.
  • Susan the chambermaid comes to Sophia's room with a drink she ordered.
  • Sophia keeps paying Susan money until she agrees to slip into Tom's room to see if he's alone in bed.
  • Of course, Tom isn't alone in bed, and Susan tells Sophia as much.
  • Susan also passes on all of the things Partridge said about Sophia in the kitchen earlier.
  • Apparently, he's been spreading around the rumor that Sophia is dying of love for Tom, and that Tom has run away to war to escape from her. (Ouch.)
  • After dropping this bombshell, Susan leaves the room.
  • Sophia tells Mrs. Honour that she now accepts that Tom is "a low despicable wretch" (10.5.9).
  • Sophia is furious, and wants to make sure that Tom knows that she was there.
  • So Sophia bribes Susan to leave her muff where Tom will see it. (See "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" for more on Sophia's famous muff.)
  • And then Sophia and Mrs. Honour ride off.