Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 9

By Henry Fielding

Book 13, Chapter 9

Which Treats Matters of a Very Different Kind From Those in the Preceding Chapter

  • Tom meets with Lady Bellaston again that evening.
  • The narrator refuses to be graphic about what they're getting up to (but it's clearly sex).
  • Eventually, Tom starts realizing that Lady Bellaston is never going to let him meet up with Sophia.
  • In fact, recently, she's been getting annoyed if he even mentions Sophia's name.
  • Tom tells Partridge to fish for information from Lady Bellaston's servants.
  • Tom's position in relation to his lady love continues to be awkward, because:
  • (1) he's having trouble finding Sophia;
  • (2) he knows that she is mad at him;
  • (3) Lady Bellaston has told him that Sophia doesn't want to see him again, and that she has been hiding from him intentionally; and
  • (4) he doesn't want to be the cause of Squire Western disinheriting her.
  • He also worries about what he owes to Lady Bellaston.
  • Lady Bellaston really likes him and she's given him many presents.
  • Tom doesn't want to be ungrateful to a woman who so clearly adores him.
  • He decides he has to devote himself to Lady Bellaston.
  • But just as he has made this decision, he gets a note from her canceling their meeting that evening.
  • He then gets a second note that says, never mind that first note! Come at seven this evening to my house.
  • Tom is disappointed to hear that he still has to go see her.
  • He would rather go to a new play with Mr. Nightingale and his friends.
  • Lady Bellaston decides to send Sophia to a play that evening, leaving her house empty for her meeting with Tom.