Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 16, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 16, Chapter 2

A Whimsical Adventure Which Befel the Squire, With the Distressed Situation of Sophia

  • Squire Western has found a place to stay in London, in Piccadilly.
  • When he arrives there with Sophia, he tells her that Mr. Blifil is coming to London for a few days.
  • Sophia still refuses to marry him.
  • So Squire Western locks her up in a room. (Again? Squire Western never has any new ideas, does he?)
  • The second morning of Sophia's imprisonment, Squire Western is having breakfast with Mr. Supple.
  • Someone comes to speak to Squire Western.
  • It's a well-dressed man with a ribbon on his hat (which is a sign that he's in the military).
  • He asks for permission for his master to come and speak with Squire Western.
  • Then, another man comes into the room.
  • He's a captain, and he's representing Lord Fellamar.
  • Lord Fellamar is willing to let bygones be bygones with Squire Western—he knows the squire was pretty drunk when they last met.
  • He still wants to marry Sophia.
  • Squire Western answers that Sophia is already engaged.
  • What's more, Squire Western would never let his daughter marry some fancy-schmancy, stuck-up lord.
  • The messenger warns Squire Western that, if he's not going to be Lord Fellamar's father-in-law, then Lord Fellamar can't forgive him for swearing at Lord Fellamar the last time they met.
  • Squire Western does not help things by saying that this is "a d—n'd lie" (16.2.19).
  • The captain hits Squire Western for calling him a liar.
  • Mr. Supple comes running up to ask what's going on.
  • Squire Western protests that the captain just hit him, out of nowhere!
  • The captain takes off, saying that Squire Western isn't worth "[dirtying] his fingers" (16.2.24).
  • Sophia overhears all of this squabbling and starts to scream.
  • Her father comes up to her room to see what is the matter.
  • She asks him if he has been hurt at all, and who has been insulting him?
  • Squire Western says it's just some stupid lord.
  • Squire Western offers Sophia presents and money if she'll consent to marry Mr. Blifil.
  • Sophia asks if Squire Western wants to make her miserable?
  • Squire Western answers that it would be better for her to think she's unhappy than to know the misery of being married to a poor man.
  • Squire Western orders that she will marry Mr. Blifil, even if she "[hangs herself] the next morning" (16.2.26).
  • For a second, it looks like Squire Western is going to hit her.
  • But at the sight of her tears, he just locks her back in and goes back to Mr. Supple.