Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 6, Chapter 6

By Henry Fielding

Book 6, Chapter 6

Containing a Dialogue Between Sophia and Mrs. Honour, Which May a Little Relieve Those Tender Affections Which the Foregoing Scene May Have Raised in the Mind of a Good-Natured Reader

  • After Mrs. Western leaves, Mrs. Honour (Sophia's maid) comes in.
  • When she sees Sophia crying, she asks her what is the matter.
  • Sophia gets irritated at being asked, but she obviously wants to vent her tragic feelings.
  • She finally comes out with it: "My father […] is going to marry me to a man I both despise and hate" (6.6.1).
  • Mrs. Honour says all kinds of things about how she would never marry a man against her will.
  • She thinks that Sophia should marry a handsomer gentleman (of course, meaning Tom), since Sophia has money enough for the both of them.
  • Mrs. Honour also feels sorry for Tom, since she has seen him standing by the canal in the garden looking miserable all morning.
  • Sophia grabs a ribbon and rushes off to see Tom (though she makes a thin excuse about "going to the grove" (6.6.1) in the opposite direction.)
  • Sadly, Tom leaves the garden just as Sophia goes into it.
  • So the lovers just miss each other.