Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 4, Chapter 14

By Henry Fielding

Book 4, Chapter 14

The Arrival of a Surgeon, His Operations, and a Long Dialogue Between Sophia and Her Maid

  • A doctor arrives at Squire Western's house.
  • Sophia is so faint from her shock (and from her feelings for Tom) that her father insists that the doctor treat her first.
  • The doctor bleeds her (in keeping with medical practice of the time). We still think that draining away blood to heal someone's sickness is the weirdest medical practice of all time.
  • All this time, poor Tom has been waiting patiently with an unset arm bone.
  • Once the doctor is finally finished with Sophia, he resets Tom's arm.
  • The doctor also orders bed rest, so Squire Western insists that Tom stay at his house.
  • Later, Mrs. Honour tells Sophia all about Tom's bravery during the bone setting. (And about the beauty of Tom's body.)
  • Sophia teases Mrs. Honour about wanting Tom for herself.
  • Mrs. Honour won't sayso, but she does go on for a while longer about Tom.
  • He is super fit, she insists.
  • But Mrs. Honour also declares that she has noticed signs that Tom has a thing for Sophia.
  • Apparently, once Mrs. Honour spotted Tom putting his hands into a muff (which is a circular kind of hand covering, usually made of fur) that Sophia left on a chair.
  • He kissed it and said that it was "the prettiest muff in the world" (4.14.12) (claims Mrs. Honour).
  • Mrs. Honour swears that Tom told her Sophia is "a goddess" whom he will "always worship and adore" (4.14.13) as long as he breathes.
  • Sophia swears Mrs. Honour to secrecy, since she doesn't want her father to know about Tom's romantic notions.
  • But Sophia is veryexcited at this news.