Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 14, Chapter 3

By Henry Fielding

Book 14, Chapter 3

Containing Various Matters

  • As soon as Lady Bellaston leaves, Tom reads Sophia's letter.
  • In it, Sophia begs that Tom not come by the house.
  • She thinks that Lady Bellaston suspects something.
  • Tom is disappointed that Sophia doesn't want to see him.
  • The next morning, he sends a note to Lady Bellaston saying that he's sick and canceling their afternoon date.
  • She writes back announcing that she'll come to him at nine that evening. (So, when Lady Bellaston says, "jump," all Tom can answer is "how high?")
  • He then gets a visit from Mrs. Miller.
  • Mrs. Miller warns him, very politely, that she doesn't want her house to seem like a brothel.
  • She feels uncomfortable that he had a lady visitor so late last night.
  • Mrs. Miller has heard about Tom's generosity in his first run-in with her cousin, Mr. Anderson, when he tried to rob Tom out on the road.
  • And she knows that Squire Allworthy has always had good things to say about Tom.
  • But even so, she can't allow Tom to use her home for booty calls.
  • Tom gets a little huffy, and answers that he can't have any restrictions on whom he entertains in his own rooms.
  • If this is going to be a serious issue between them, then he will have to move out.
  • Mrs. Miller agrees, but she's really sorry about to see him go.
  • Tom asks Mrs. Miller to send Partridge up to him.
  • Tom starts yelling at Partridge: not only did this idiot tell Mrs. Miller about the her-cousin-is-a-highwayman thing (which Tom never wanted her to know).
  • But Partridge also told Mrs. Miller about Tom's connection to Squire Allworthy.
  • Partridge tries to claim that it was an accident, that when Mrs. Honour came by it just came out, and anyway, maybe that witch in Book 12, Chapter 11 told her.
  • Partridge's excuses make Tom laugh.
  • Tom finally just asks Partridge to find him another place to stay.