Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 3

By Henry Fielding

Book 13, Chapter 3

A Project of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and Her Visit to Lady Bellaston

  • Mrs. Fitzpatrick is a little annoyed with Sophia for failing to mention her entire love affair with Tom Jones.
  • (Actually, we agree that Tom isa pretty big detail for Sophia to have skipped.)
  • She also figures that, if she can save Sophia from Tom and send her back to Squire Western, this will probably be a big enough good deed that Squire and Mrs. Western will let her back into the family.
  • Mrs. Fitzpatrick decides to go to Lady Bellaston (the relative with whom Sophia is staying).
  • After all, Lady Bellaston is not a fan of either romantic love or of bad marriages.
  • Mrs. Fitzpatrick visits Lady Bellaston at dawn the next morning, before Sophia is up and about.
  • It turns out that Lady Bellaston has heard all about Tom from her dressing maid.
  • This maid is so full of compliments for Tom's beauty that Lady Bellaston is really thinking of him as a kind of god. (Like this one?)
  • So when Mrs. Fitzpatrick starts talking about him, Lady Bellaston is immediately supercurious.
  • She agrees to help Mrs. Fitzpatrick.
  • Mrs. Fitzpatrick wants to write to Squire Western.
  • Lady Bellaston thinks that's the lastthing they should do.
  • They should just keep Sophia away from Tom and introduce her to other society in London.
  • Lady Bellaston drops a hint about getting a look at Tom (to make it easier to avoid him, of course).
  • Mrs. Fitzpatrick arranges for Lady Bellaston to be on hand when Tom comes to see her again that afternoon.
  • They both swear they are doing this all for Sophia's sake.