Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 12, Chapter 3

By Henry Fielding

Book 12, Chapter 3

The Departure of Jones from Upton, With What Past Between Him and Patridge on the Road

  • And now, we're going back to Tom.
  • Tom and Partridge are trudging away from the inn at Upton.
  • They reach a crossroads.
  • Partridge asks Tom once again to turn back home.
  • Tom shouts that he hasn't got a home.
  • Then Tom starts shaking Partridge violently.
  • Partridge begs Tom to stop hurting him.
  • Tom starts raging against himself.
  • Eventually, Tom calms down and apologizes to Partridge.
  • He now has a new plan: since his life is completely ruined, he may as well go and die in the army.
  • Partridge thinks Tom has gone completely around the bend. Totally loco. Really, genuinely crazy.
  • Partridge is so uncomfortable that he just picks something to say at random.
  • He starts talking about the Man of the Hill. His main question: was he a ghost? His answer: he's gotta be.
  • Partridge complains that he dreamed of fighting last night.
  • Maybe that was an omen of this whole army plan of Tom's.
  • Tom asks why it matters if they both die in battle.
  • It matters a lot to Partridge, because his life would be at an end.
  • Tom doesn't approve of Partridge's lack of courage: we're all going to die anyway, so why shouldn't we die well on the battlefield?
  • Partridge agrees that we will all die eventually, but there is a big difference between dying in your bed years from now and dying today or tomorrow.