Containing One of the Most Bloody Battles, or Rather Duels, That Were Ever Recorded in Domestic History
Mrs. Partridge is super-moody usually.
But for some reason, after firing Jenny Jones, she doesn't lose her temper seriously for months.
This makes Mr. Partridge worry that she is building up to something big.
Mrs. Partridge goes one day to the local chandler's shop (a chandler is a candle-maker).
It's at this chandler shop that Mrs. Partridge hears the (totally untrue) rumor that Jenny is the mother of two bastards.
Mrs. Partridge's jealousy flares up again.
Mrs. Partridge goes home and physically attacks Mr. Partridge in rage, sure that he is the father of one or both of Jenny Jones's (supposed) bastards.
Mr. Partridge tries to catch her arms so that she will stop beating him.
Mrs. Partridge bursts into tears and faints.
Mr. Partridge runs out into the street shouting for help because he thinks his wife is dying.
A crowd of women rush back to the house with him.
Mrs. Partridge wakes up and starts shouting that Mr. Partridge has been beating her.
Mr. Partridge is totally shocked—he hadn't hit her even once.
And all the blood on Mrs. Partridge actually comes from Mr. Partridge.
But all of the sympathy of the crowd goes to Mrs. Partridge.
Finally, the crowd leaves and Mr. and Mrs. Partridge are alone once more.
(Incidentally, the narrator plays this scene of domestic violence for ha-has in this chapter.
He clearly thinks it's really funny to see a woman beating up her husband. But we actually feel that this is a sign of how different current values are from those in Fielding's day. Mrs. Partridge actually wounds and injures Mr. Partridge until she draws blood.
That is abuse, and it's seriously not funny. No matter what Henry Fielding thinks.)