Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 17, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 17, Chapter 2

The Generous and Grateful Behavior of Mrs. Miller

  • Squire Allworthy, Mrs. Miller, and Mr. Blifil settle in for breakfast.
  • Mr. Blifil has news: he says that Tom has turned out to be "one of the greatest villains upon earth" (17.1.2).
  • Mrs. Miller shouts that he's one of the best, and she won't hear Tom insulted like this.
  • Mrs. Miller is sure that someone has been lying about Tom to Squire Allworthy.
  • Otherwise, she can't imagine how a man as good as Squire Allworthy can have come to think so badly of Tom.
  • Squire Allworthy says that Mr. Blifil has always been Tom's warmest supporter.
  • Squire Allworthy thinks that Mrs. Miller is being ungrateful to him, Squire Allworthy, by speaking so rudely to his nephew.
  • Mrs. Miller agrees that Tom has faults, but they aren't proof that he is a bad human being.
  • He's just young and rowdy.
  • And Mrs. Miller promises to explain why she is so defensive of Tom.
  • But first, Squire Allworthy wants to hear news of Tom's latest crime.
  • Mr. Blifil says that Tom has killed a man.
  • There is a loud knocking on the door, and Mrs. Miller lets in Squire Allworthy's guest.
  • Then she leaves the room with Betsy, who is crying over Tom.