Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 18, Chapter 11

By Henry Fielding

Book 18, Chapter 11

The History Draws Nearer to a Conclusion

  • (Another long one, folks! But we are excited to be getting some closure on all of these outstanding plot points.)
  • Once Squire Western leaves, Tom tells Squire Allworthy and Mrs. Miller something strange.
  • Apparently, two lords arranged for Tom's release.
  • Tom has only met one of them (Mrs. Fitzpatrick's man-friend, the Irish nobleman).
  • The other one he has never seen before in his life.
  • But this mysterious lord tells him that he owes Tom big time.
  • Here's the story:
  • Remember that lieutenant whom Lord Fellamar employed to press Tom into service?
  • He saw the whole duel, which he reported back to Lord Fellamar.
  • He tells Lord Fellamar that Tom isn't some common beggar. He's definitely a gentleman.
  • A day or two later, Lord Fellamar has dinner with the Irish nobleman.
  • That nobleman has been keeping Mrs. Fitzpatrick as a mistress.
  • So he has a terrible opinion of Mr. Fitzpatrick, and he portrays Mrs. Fitzpatrick as a totally innocent victim of her hateful husband.
  • Lord Fellamar goes with the nobleman to meet the other half of this duel, Mr. Fitzpatrick.
  • Mr. Fitzpatrick is pretty happy with Mrs. Waters, and he's completely forgiven Tom.
  • So he tells Lord Fellamar that Tom is a man of honor.
  • He also tells Lord Fellamar that Tom is the nephew of a gentleman with lots of money.
  • (Mr. Fitzpatrick has heard the whole story of Tom's birth from Mrs. Waters.)
  • So Lord Fellamar realizes that he has done a terrible wrong to someone who doesn't deserve it.
  • He totally gives up on Sophia.
  • And he decides to make amends by bringing his Irish nobleman friend with him and arranging for Tom's freedom.
  • Now, Squire Allworthy tells Tom all about what he heard from Mr. Dowling.
  • Mr. Blifil asks if he can meet with Squire Allworthy.
  • Squire Allworthy wants the servant to tell Mr. Blifil he doesn't know him.
  • But Tom argues that everyone deserves a chance to explain himself.
  • Even Tom had that, before Squire Allworthy kicked him out of the house.
  • Squire Allworthy is so impressed with Tom's morals that he hugs him.
  • Mrs. Miller sees them hugging and embraces both of them out of joy.
  • Mrs. Miller invites them down to dinner with Mr. Nightingale, Nancy, Mr. Nightingale's cousin Harriet, and her groom.
  • Squire Allworthy plans instead to meet with Mr. Blifil in private.
  • Mrs. Miller asks what they'll do with Mr. Blifil in the long term.
  • She doesn't want him in her house.
  • She wants to physically kick him out, in fact.
  • But Tom says no, let's not get violent here.
  • He offers to give Mr. Blifil the message that he needs to leave that evening.
  • He finds Mr. Blifil lying on his bed crying.
  • He tries to comfort Mr. Blifil while at the same time telling him he needs to move out ASAP.
  • Tom swears that he will treat Mr. Blifil like a brother.
  • Mr. Blifil throws himself to the ground and kisses Tom's feet, which is deeply embarrassing for everyone.
  • Tom picks Mr. Blifil up off the floor and tells him to man up.
  • Mr. Blifil thanks him over and over again.
  • He promises to leave the house by that evening.
  • Squire Allworthy tells Tom about the 500 pounds that Black George stole.
  • Tom is totally shocked because he "thought there was not an honester fellow in the world" (18.11.12). (Tom = not a great judge of character.)
  • Tom believes that Black George is sincerely sorry, and that he is generally a good friend to Tom.
  • Squire Allworthy insists that they have to punish him.
  • It's unfair to "society" (18.11.18) not to punish people who do bad things.
  • Tom goes off to dress for dinner, and Partridge helps him.
  • Partridge is so happy at Tom's changing luck that he can barely express himself or do his job.
  • But Partridge knew it would be like this: he has seen all kinds of supernatural signs and dreams indicating Tom's good luck.