Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 7

By Henry Fielding

Book 13, Chapter 7

Containing the Whole Humours of a Masquerade

  • At the masquerade, Tom and Mr. Nightingale hang out for a bit.
  • But Mr. Nightingale soon goes off with a lady, leaving Tom to try to find Sophia on his own.
  • He's in the middle of talking to a girl dressed as a shepherdess when a lady in a cloak with a hood taps him on the shoulder.
  • She tells him that, if he keeps talking to that "trollop" (13.7.4)—a trollop is a prostitute—she'll tell Sophia.
  • Tom and the lady sit down together.
  • She promises him that Sophia is not at the party.
  • She asks how Tom can expect her to help him ruin her cousin Sophia?
  • She tells Tom that Sophia hasn't much fortune outside of what her father can give her.
  • Tom knows that he will never marry Sophia, since he refuses to ruin her financially.
  • All he wants to do is see her once more.
  • The lady is impressed with Tom's passion.
  • But she says it's a little rude of him to spend all of his time with her speaking about Sophia.
  • Tom realizes that he has to stay on the lady's good side.
  • So he starts to flirt with her a little.
  • Just as they are talking, a rude woman wearing the mask of an old crone appears to interrupt them.
  • Tom and the lady start walking around the room to avoid her.
  • Eventually, the lady starts hinting that she wants Tom to follow her home.
  • Tom walks out after her and follows until they get to a house near Hanover Square.
  • She takes him to a richly furnished room, where she takes off her mask.
  • It's Lady Bellaston, Sophia's relative.
  • The two of them "talk" through the night.
  • Lady Bellaston promises that she will arrange for Tom to see Sophia, as long as he promises to leave Sophia alone after that.