Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 5, Chapter 5

By Henry Fielding

Book 5, Chapter 5

A Very Long Chapter, Containing a Very Great Incident

  • How about these to-the-point chapter titles, eh?
  • So even though Tom is now completely in love with Sophia, he hasn't forgotten about Molly. He goes over to the Seagrim house to talk to her.
  • Goody Seagrim tells Tom that Molly isn't home.
  • But Betty (Molly's older sister) jumps in to say that Molly is still in bed.
  • Tom goes up to Molly's bedroom in the attic.
  • Tom tells Molly that Squire Allworthy has made him promise not to see Molly anymore.
  • But! (offers Tom) he could give her some money—
  • Molly bursts into tears and then screams at Tom for seducing her and then leaving her behind.
  • But just as Molly is really getting going, something happens to stop her complaints.
  • This attic room has sloping ceilings, so that you can only stand up straight if you are in the middle of the room.
  • There is also a small cubby in the corner that has been curtained off as a closet.
  • As Molly is yelling, the curtain to the closet comes sliding down.
  • And who should be crouched over in this tiny space but Mr. Square?
  • He may be a philosopher in theory, but he's also, apparently, a horndog.
  • With Tom laid up elsewhere with his broken arm, Molly has been left more or less on her own.
  • So it's been about two weeks since Mr. Square and Molly started canoodling.
  • When Tom first arrived at the house, Molly's mom tried to cover for her, but Molly's sister wanted Molly to get into trouble with Tom.
  • Mr. Square tries to look serious and dignified, even in the middle of his extreme embarrassment.
  • Tom promises he won't gossip about any of this—as long as Mr. Square is kind to Molly, Tom doesn't care what they do.
  • Tom leaves, and Mr. Square and Molly make up.