Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 18, Chapter 12

By Henry Fielding

Book 18, Chapter 12

Approaching Still Nearer the End

  • Tom is looking very, very handsome.
  • And so is Sophia.
  • In fact, her dad makes a gross sexual comment about her and Tom that deeply embarrasses both of them.
  • Squire Western quickly drags Squire Allworthy out of the room.
  • Finally, Sophia says that Tom has been very lucky.
  • Tom asks if it's lucky for Sophia to be angry with him.
  • Tom asks for Sophia's forgiveness.
  • He tells Sophia all about the Lady Bellaston affair.
  • He knows that what he did with Lady Bellaston was terrible.
  • But hasn't he paid for all of that?
  • Sophia's not so ready to forgive and forget.
  • What about the woman at Upton?
  • How can Tom have been having these affairs when he was supposed to be desperately in love with Sophia?
  • Tom answers that he has always thought only of Sophia.
  • And now, he feels really bad about all his sexual screw-ups.
  • Tom swears that he will be faithful.
  • Sophia seems doubtful, but she is glad at least that Tom will have the chance to prove his loyalty in the future.
  • Tom slowly wears her down, until she is willing to admit that someday, they could get married.
  • Tom kisses her.
  • Squire Western comes running in to cheer them on.
  • Squire Western keeps insisting that Sophia agree to marry Tom right now.
  • Sophia finally caves: "Why then to-morrow morning shall be the day, papa, since you will have it so" (18.12.8).
  • Tom falls to his knees and kisses Sophia's hand.
  • Squire Western runs out to start making arrangements.
  • Squire Western and Squire Allworthy come back in together.
  • Squire Allworthy wants to make sure Sophia really desires this match.
  • Sophia confirms that she is very happy with how things have turned out.
  • So finally, Squire Western gets to have his marriage celebration.
  • The Westerns agree to join Tom and Squire Allworthy at dinner that night with the Nightingale family.