Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 12

By Henry Fielding

Book 13, Chapter 12

In Which the Thirteenth Book Is Concluded

  • Sophia decides to keep lying to Lady Bellaston about Tom's identity.
  • So when Lady Bellaston claims that she has never seen Tom's face before, Sophia answers that she hasn't either.
  • Lady Bellaston says he's handsome.
  • Sophia agrees—but isn't he also a little awkward? she adds.
  • But when Lady Bellaston wonders if he is low-born, Sophia jumps in to defend him: "there is an elegance in his discourse, a delicacy, a prettiness of expression that —" (13.12.9).
  • Obviously, Sophia's not very good at hiding her feelings for Tom.
  • Lady Bellaston states that, when she first walked into the drawing-room, she thought the man might be—ha ha!—Tom Jones.
  • Sophia tries to laugh.
  • Lady Bellaston then replies, but of course, it can't have been—after all, this gentleman is dressed nicely, which Tom can't have been.
  • Sophia tells Lady Bellaston that her joke is a little harsh.
  • Lady Bellaston doesn't see how simply making fun of Tom's clothes could matter to Sophia, when she has promised she would never marry without her father's consent.
  • Sophia protests that she doesn't care.
  • Lady Bellaston then says that the man who was just here can't have been like Tom, or else she would think much worse of Sophia's taste.
  • Sophia answers back that Lady Bellaston thought him handsome.
  • Who? asks Lady Bellaston.
  • Mr. Jones! answers Sophia. Or, no, not Mr. Jones, the man who was just here!
  • Lady Bellaston believes Sophia's thoughts are still too attached to Tom.
  • She promises never to bring him up again.
  • The two of them separate for the night.
  • Sophia can't sleep, after all of this difficult lying that she has had to do.