Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 6, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 6, Chapter 2

The Character of Mrs. Western, Her Great Learning and Knowledge of the World, and an Instance of the Deep Penetration Which She Derived From Those Advantages

  • We're now back at Squire Western's house with Tom, Sophia, and Mrs. Western.
  • The only person in the party who isn't cheerful is Sophia.
  • Mrs. Western thinks she guesses the reason for Sophia's sudden seriousness.
  • She spends the next couple of weeks trying to signal to Sophia that she knows Her Secret.
  • Squire Western remains unaware of all of these goings-on.
  • Finally, Mrs. Western points out to Squire Western what should have been completely obviousto him ages ago: Sophia is in love.
  • Squire Western gets ready to fly off the handle, but Mrs. Western shushes him.
  • She believes that Sophia has chosen the exact person who will make Squire Western happiest as a son-in-law.
  • Mrs. Western thinks that Mr. Blifilis the object of Sophia's affections.
  • Squire Western is thrilled: Mr. Blifil stands to inherit a huge estate, and they are next-door neighbors.
  • Mrs. Western suggests that Squire Western talk over the match with Squire Allworthy.
  • They squabble over whether or not Squire Allworthy will agree to the engagement.
  • But they soon make up.
  • (In fact, Squire Western backs down, since he has an eye out for Mrs. Western's inheritance—he wants it to go to his estate/Sophia.
  • So he can't afford to make his sister too angry.)
  • Squire Western hands over the responsibility for planning the match to Mrs. Western.