Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 15, Chapter 7

By Henry Fielding

Book 15, Chapter 7

In Which Various Misfortunes Befal Poor Jones

  • So now we're back to Mrs. Honour and Tom (last seen in Book 14, Chapter 10).
  • Mrs. Honour tells Tom (with a lot of sidebars on her own misery, since she has lost her job) that Squire Western has found Sophia at last.
  • He's ready to marry Sophia to Mr. Blifil right away.
  • Partridge comes in to say that "the great lady" (15.7.3) is coming up the stairs.
  • Mrs. Honour is pretty much the last person he would want overhearing his business.
  • But there's nothing to be done: he hides her under the bed.
  • Tom totally forgets that he's supposed to be sick, which is why he canceled their date.
  • He looks absolutely healthy when he greets Lady Bellaston.
  • She makes a comment about Tom looking healthy enough to pose for a "picture of Adonis" (15.7.9).
  • Tom doesn't know what to do, because this is clearly a cue from Lady Bellaston that she wants a kiss.
  • But Mrs. Honour is sitting under the bed. He can't kiss Lady Bellaston while Mrs. Honour is there.
  • Tom just stands there like an idiot.
  • Luckily, something happens to save him from the supreme awkwardness: Mr. Nightingale arrives, blind drunk.
  • Everyone else in the household is asleep/smoking by the fire, so Mr. Nightingale just walks right in to Tom's room.
  • He's so drunk that he thinks Tom's room is his own old one.
  • Tom eventually shoves Mr. Nightingale over to Partridge in the kitchen.
  • He goes back to his room and sees Lady Bellaston freaking out.
  • When Lady Bellaston first saw Mr. Nightingale and Tom struggling, she tried to hide.
  • Unfortunately, the only place in the room to hide is under the bed, where Mrs. Honour is already hiding.
  • So Lady Bellaston shouts at Tom, and Mrs. Honour shouts at Lady Bellaston for calling her a "wretch" (15.7.17).
  • Lady Bellaston brushes off Tom's lame apologies and suddenly starts making nice with Mrs. Honour.
  • She leaves, mostly ignoring Tom.
  • Mrs. Honour yells at Tom for cheating on Sophia.
  • But Tom somehow manages to talk her around, and she promises to bring him news of Sophia the next morning.