Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 18, Chapter 6

By Henry Fielding

Book 18, Chapter 6

In Which the History Is Further Continued

  • Squire Allworthy asks Partridge to explain himself.
  • How can he keep pretending not to be Tom's father? How can he pass himself off as Tom's servant?
  • Partridge swears that he is not Tom's dad.
  • Mr. Partridge says that, once he lost his job as a teacher (thanks to that paternity trial), everything started to go south.
  • He also lost his job as a clerk, so the only work he had left was as a barber.
  • But being a barber in the countryside is not a great living.
  • He had been receiving an anonymous pension of 12 pounds ($2,000 in today's money) a year.
  • (Partridge guesses that the money probably came from Squire Allworthy, as indeed it did.)
  • But once his wife died, even that pension stopped.
  • So he left the area.
  • Mr. Partridge keeps going into great detail about his misfortunes between the time he left Somersetshire and the time he met Tom.
  • Squire Allworthy tells him to hurry up already.
  • So Mr. Partridge skips lightly over the seven years he spent in Winchester jail (and we can't believe poor Partridge has actually done hard time!)
  • He tells Squire Allworthy that he was in Gloucester for about two months practicing as a barber before Tom met him.
  • Partridge swears again that he is not Tom's father.
  • And then he can't hold it in any longer: he tells Squire Allworthy all about Tom and Mrs. Waters/Jenny Jones.
  • Squire Allworthy is totally horrified to hear that Tom has committed incest.
  • And then, Mrs. Waters comes rushing in.
  • She asks to speak to Squire Allworthy.
  • Partridge leaves the two of them alone.