Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 8

By Henry Fielding

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Book 13, Chapter 8

Containing a Scene of Distress, Which Will Appear Very Extraordinary to Most of Our Readers

  • The next day, Tom gives Partridge a fifty-pound note.
  • He tells Partridge to break it into smaller bills.
  • Partridge thinks Tom must have robbed someone to get it.
  • In fact, Lady Bellaston gave it to him.
  • She knows that he hasn't got a penny in the world.
  • Mrs. Miller invites Tom and Mr. Nightingale to lunch with her family.
  • She has just been to visit a cousin of hers, who is having a baby.
  • This cousin's second son Tommy is sick in bed next to his mother.
  • Her thirteen year-old daughter is having to nurse both her mother and Tommy.
  • And her husband is going without food so that his children have something to eat.
  • They all love each other dearly, so they are trying to do their best to make one another feel better in the middle of these awful circumstances.
  • But they all find it heartbreaking to see the others suffering.
  • And worst of all, the poor father of the family is in this position partly because of his good heart.
  • He put up the family's possessions as bail for his brother.
  • The brother skipped town, so the bailiffs came to take away everything he owned a week before his wife gave birth.
  • Tom is so filled with pity for this family that he takes Mrs. Miller aside and gives her that fifty pounds he got from Lady Bellaston.

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 8 Study Group

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