Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 5, Chapter 7

By Henry Fielding

Book 5, Chapter 7

In Which Squire Allworthy Appears On a Sick-bed

  • Squire Western so enjoys having Tom around the house that he insists that Tom stay on even once his broken arm is healed.
  • Tom is happy to hang out—after all, he gets to go hunting and see Sophia every day.
  • What more could he want?
  • Meanwhile, Squire Allworthy has a slight fever.
  • But he doesn't stop to rest or take it easy while he's sick.
  • So it gets much worse.
  • Once the doctor arrives, he shakes his head and says Squire Allworthy might die.
  • Squire Allworthy isn't too worried: his estate is all in order and he isn't afraid of death.
  • He calls his relations to his bedside.
  • The following people gather around his bed: Mr. Blifil, Tom, Mr. Thwackum, Mr. Square, and some of his servants.
  • Squire Allworthy gives a long speech about how we shouldn't be afraid of death.
  • It's natural and it comes to us all in time.
  • Squire Allworthy has written out a will, but he wants to tell them all what they can expect.
  • Mr. Blifil is going to get all of Squire Allworthy's estate, with a few exceptions:
  • (1) 500 pounds a year (about $100,000 in today's money) to Bridget Blifil until her death, when that amount will go to her son, Mr. Blifil.
  • (2) 500 pounds a year to Tom. (Tom clutches Squire Allworthy's hand and cries out "Oh, my friend! my father!" (5.7.12).)
  • (3) 1,000 pounds to Mr. Thwackum (so, about $200,000)
  • (4) 1,000 pounds to Mr. Square
  • (5) Some various small things for the servants.
  • Just as Squire Allworthy is saying farewell, a lawyer comes rushing up to speak to him.
  • Squire Allworthy sends Mr. Blifil to take care of it, since he is too weak right now to talk to anyone.
  • Squire Allworthy sends everyone away.
  • Mr. Square and Mrs. Wilkins are both weeping.