Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 12, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 12, Chapter 2

In Which, Tho' the Squire Doth Not Find His Daughter, Something Is Found Which Puts an End to His Pursuit

  • We've jumped back in time again. (We're getting dizzy from all this backtracking!)
  • This time, we're following Squire Western's plot line.
  • When last we heard, he was in the inn at Upton.
  • He hears that Sophia has crossed the River Severn, so he rides out seeking "vengeance" (12.2.2).
  • (Exactly what form does he expect this revenge to take? How much worse can it be than his original plan to marry her to the revolting Mr. Blifil?)
  • Mr. Supple, the curate, is traveling with him.
  • Squire Western keeps complaining about "the slut" (12.2.6) his daughter.
  • He doesn't want to be out here chasing Sophia; his daughter is distracting him from his real love: hunting.
  • And then, as luck would have it, a pack of hunting dogs come running by just then.
  • Squire Western immediately joins the hunting company, and Mr. Supple follows.
  • Squire Western is happy as a clam: riding around the countryside with a bunch of dogs and heavily armed dudes is his idea of heaven.
  • He totally forgets all about that pesky Sophia.
  • And the other squire (the one who is leading this random hunt) is thrilled to have a fellow sportsman along.
  • Once they kill whatever it is they were hunting, the two men chat.
  • That evening, they dine together.
  • Squire Western gets so drunk that he passes out.
  • Mr. Supple tells Squire #2 all about the whole Sophia thing.
  • Mr. Supple asks Squire #2 to convince Squire Western to give up this hunt for his daughter.
  • So the next morning, the curate and the squire push Squire Western to give up and go home.
  • And he does.
  • But he also sends some of his servants to keep going after Sophia.