Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 2, Chapter 9

By Henry Fielding

Book 2, Chapter 9

A Proof of the Infallibility of the Foregoing Receipt, In the Lamentations of the Widow, With Other Suitable Decorations of Death, Such as Physicians, &c. and an Epitaph in the True Stile"

  • Squire Allworthy, Bridget, and a guest all gather around for dinner at the usual time.
  • Captain Blifil (of course) does not come to the table.
  • Everyone is surprised, because he is usually on time to meals.
  • Bridget starts weeping and imagining that he has been murdered.
  • (The guest is a good friend of Bridget's and knows exactly how she really feels about Captain Blifil. But she goes along with Bridget's hysterics and tries to soothe her.)
  • The servants come in with Captain Blifil's unconscious body.
  • Squire Allworthy begins to cry and Bridget faints.
  • They call in a couple of doctors.
  • Captain Blifil is already beyond their help.
  • When Bridget wakes up from her faint, the doctors rush over to take her pulse and generally make it obvious that they are Doing Work (since they want to get paid).
  • The doctors quickly convince Bridget that she is sick (even though she isn't).
  • Bridget spends a whole month under their "treatment."
  • After this, she begins appearing in public again looking much the same, but dressed in black for mourning.
  • Squire Allworthy sets up a tombstone with an epitaph that really proves how little he knew Captain Blifil.
  • The tombstone tells us that Captain Blifil was a good man greatly beloved by his wife.