Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 12, Chapter 5

By Henry Fielding

Book 12, Chapter 5

Containing More Adventures Which Mr. Jones and His Companion Met on the Road

  • So Tom and Partridge rush off.
  • After about three miles, they hear the sound of drums nearby.
  • It turns out that the drums are coming from a puppet show.
  • Partridge is excited: he loves puppets!
  • They go to the inn, where Tom asks if any ladies have passed recently. (Nope.)
  • Partridge convinces Tom to stay for dinner in town so that they can go and see the puppet show.
  • The puppet master takes the show very seriously. He wants it to improve "the morals of young people" (12.5.11).
  • Tom tells the puppet master that, by avoiding "low stuff" (12.5.11), he has also managed to avoid making the show funny.
  • The puppet master immediately gets offended.
  • He refuses to spoil the purity of his stage by introducing "low" (12.5.11) comedy.
  • (We already know what the narrator thinks of using the word "low" to dismiss art; check out Book 5, Chapter 1 for more on his pro-low-art hissy fit.)
  • The puppet master starts another rant, but something interrupts him that we're going to discuss in the next chapter.