Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 5, Chapter 10

By Henry Fielding

Book 5, Chapter 10

Shewing the Truth of Many Observations of Ovid, and of Other More Grave Writers, Who Have Proved, Beyond Contradiction, that Wine Is Often the Fore-runner of Incontinency

  • Tom goes off for a walk to cool his head (and to sober up).
  • As he is wandering around in the pleasant air, Tom starts thinking about Sophia.
  • So—to be honest, he's getting horny.
  • And who should wander by just as Tom is having passionate thoughts? Molly Seagrim.
  • She's been working hard in the fields, and she's all sweaty.
  • Immediately, Tom is like—hmmmm.
  • The two of them bicker for about fifteen minutes before they go off together into a clearing in the forest.
  • The narrator reminds us that Tom is drunkso we shouldn't blame him too much for making what is obviously a big mistake.
  • Mr. Blifil spots Tom far off with a girl.
  • He can't see who the girl is, but it doesn't matter—he knows Tom, and he knows what Tom is up to.
  • So Mr. Blifil runs for Mr. Thwackum, who he knows will attack Tom properly.
  • Mr. Thwackum is very serious about abstinence: his own, and everyone else's.
  • Mr. Thwackum comes storming towards the clearing in a rage.
  • He and Mr. Blifil make so much noise stomping through the underbrush that Tom totally hears them coming.