Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 7, Chapter 10

By Henry Fielding

Book 7, Chapter 10

Containing Several Matters, Natural Enough, Perhaps, But Low

  • When we last checked in with Tom, he was trying to get to Bristol.
  • Well, he's still trying: no one whom he meets on the road seems to have any idea in which direction Bristol is.
  • Finally, a Quaker walking past advises Tom to go to a nearby inn for the evening.
  • It's getting dark, and there have been robberies on the road to Bristol lately.
  • So Tom stops at this inn, and the Quaker follows him.
  • The Quaker tries to cheer Tom up by telling him the story of his own troubles.
  • And the Quaker's troubles? Sound a little too close to Tom's:
  • The Quaker has a beloved daughter. He set her up to marry a sober, respectable young man. But instead, his daughter ran off with a friend whom she has known since they were children. This young man doesn't have a penny to his name. So the Quaker has decided to disown his daughter.
  • Tom begs the Quaker to leave him alone, and then refuses to spend another minute in his company.
  • The Quaker decides that Tom must be insane, and wants to help.
  • So he goes up to the innkeeper and tells him to look after Tom.
  • The innkeeper says he won't be doing anything for Tom.
  • He thought Tom was a gentleman, but it turns out he's just the nearby squire's bastard.
  • Once the Quaker hears this gossip, he leaves Tom alone in disgust.
  • The innkeeper refuses to give Tom a bed, because he's sure Tom is just waiting to rob him.
  • Tom falls asleep in a chair and the innkeeper spends the night watching him to be sure he doesn't steal anything.