Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 4, Chapter 10

By Henry Fielding

Book 4, Chapter 10

A Story Told by Mr. Supple, the Curate. The Penetration of Squire Western. His Great Love For His Daughter, and the Return to It Made By Her

  • The next day, Tom goes hunting with Squire Western and then joins him for dinner.
  • Sophia and Mr. Supple the curate (BTW, a curate is like an assistant priest in the Anglican church hierarchy) also join the party.
  • Mr. Supple has gossip about Molly: after her post-church battle, an injured traveling musician went to Squire Allworthy to accuse Molly of assault.
  • Once Molly arrived in front of Squire Allworthy to answer the charges, the squire saw that she is very pregnant.
  • Squire Allworthy demanded to know who the father of the baby is.
  • Mr. Supple left just as it seemed like Squire Allworthy was going to send Molly to a house of correction.
  • Tom suddenly leaves the table with the lame excuse that he has "particular business" (4.10.10).
  • After Tom takes off, Squire Western guesses that Tom is the father of Molly's bastard.
  • Mr. Supple worries that, if Tom is the father, it will really turn Squire Allworthy against him.
  • Sophia, of course, is totally confused—this is the first she's heard of the fact that Tom is about to be a father.
  • Sophia excuses herself from the room.
  • The squire drinks himself into unconsciousness with Mr. Supple (four bottles of wine between the two of them? Whoa.).
  • After his little nap, Squire Western asks his daughter to play the harpsichord for him.
  • But, most unusually, Sophia says she can't.
  • That's how we know how upset she is at this news of Tom.