Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 18, Chapter 3

By Henry Fielding

Book 18, Chapter 3

Allworthy Visits Old Nightingale; With a Strange Discovery That He Made On That Occasion

  • The next morning, Squire Allworthy goes to Nightingale Senior's house to talk to him about his son's marriage.
  • A strange thing happens: Squire Allworthy arrives at Nightingale Senior's just in time to see Black George.
  • But Black George doesn't see Squire Allworthy.
  • Squire Allworthy asks Nightingale Senior how he knows Black George.
  • Apparently, Black George was here on business, claiming that he had managed to save up 500 pounds ($100,000) from renting out an estate worth 30 pounds ($6,000) a year.
  • Black George wants to buy property in the north of England.
  • He left his 500 pounds with Nightingale Senior to act as his real estate broker.
  • Nightingale Senior shows Black George's money to Squire Allworthy.
  • Squire Allworthy recognizes that the five bills were originally the ones that he gave to Tom.
  • Squire Allworthy asks Nightingale Senior to hang onto the money for the time being.
  • Meanwhile, Squire Allworthy is going to confront Black George.
  • First he stops by Mrs. Miller's house to tell her that Nightingale Senior is willing to meet with Mr. Nightingale.
  • He also tells her that he has a fortune for Tom.
  • But Squire Allworthy guesses Tom can't use it right now, since he's in jail.
  • Mrs. Miller hopes that he will be all right.
  • Squire Allworthy agrees that he hopesTom will clear his name, even though it doesn't look good.
  • Squire Allworthy protests that he has always loved Tom, and that this has been a difficult time for him.
  • Mr. Dowling the lawyer arrives with the great news that Mr. Fitzpatrick is recovering, and that he is taking all the blame himself for the duel.
  • Squire Allworthy is glad to hear it.
  • Tears begin to well up in Squire Allworthy's eyes as he remembers Tom as a boy.
  • This sudden increase of Squire Allworthy's sympathy towards Tom is not just a matter of chance.
  • It's also partly because of a letter Squire Allworthy has just received from none other than Mr. Square.