Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 11, Chapter 6

By Henry Fielding

Book 11, Chapter 6

In Which the Mistake of the Landlord Throws Sophia Into a Dreadful Consternation

  • The landlord comes in with dinner, interrupting Mrs. Fitzpatrick's story.
  • He tells Sophia not to worry, because they have just had "excellent news" (11.6.4).
  • So some people who may be in the middle of escaping will find other people waiting for them in London. (Could this guy get any more vague!?)
  • (The "excellent news" refers to the ten thousand French troops the landlord hears are helping Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • And the people "who will be very ready to receive" Sophia in London probably means Bonnie Prince Charlie himself, the assumed lover of the supposed Jenny Cameron.)
  • But Sophia assumes that the landlord recognizes her as Sophia Western, and that her father is on the way.
  • She begs the landlord not to reveal their identities (only, of course, convincing him that she is Jacobite Jenny Cameron).
  • The landlord swears he will never give her up.
  • Sophia promises she will reward him someday.
  • The landlord makes another mysterious reference to "good news" (11.6.8).
  • But before he has a chance to explain what he means, Mrs. Honour comes rushing in.
  • She brings thenews that the French troops have landed.
  • She exclaims that they will "all be murdered and ravished" (11.6.10) by the French.
  • (This news matters because the French were the allies of Bonnie Prince Charlie against George II and the Duke of Cumberland. But of course, in actual history, the French never reinforced Bonnie Prince Charlie's troops—this whole ten-thousand-Frenchmen thing is a completely false rumor.)
  • The landlord jumps in to say that, no, "the French are our very best friends" (11.6.13).
  • So he still thinks (because he's an idiot) that Sophia is Jenny Cameron.
  • Sophia later tells Mrs. Honour to find out from the landlord what he knows about her (because she still thinks that the landlord knows she's Sophia Western).
  • And Mrs. Fitzpatrick goes back to her story.