Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 7, Chapter 8

By Henry Fielding

Book 7, Chapter 8

Containing Scenes of Altercation, of No Very Uncommon Kind

  • As soon as Mrs. Honour leaves Sophia, she begins thinking things over.
  • Is this all really such a good idea?
  • If she told Squire Western right now about Sophia's plans, her reward would be immediate.
  • If she goes with Sophia, anything could happen—who knows when Sophia would be able to repay her?
  • Still, London—it would be exciting to see the city.
  • As Mrs. Honour is thinking through the pros and cons of helping out Sophia as she promised, Mrs. Western's maid comes in.
  • Mrs. Western's maid has always thought of herself as better than the other servants.
  • Her birth is slightly higher, she makes more money, and she has been to London.
  • So when she sees Mrs. Honour, she starts saying some snide things that Mrs. Honour won't take lying down.
  • The two quickly get into a fight.
  • Mrs. Western walks by and asks her maid what's wrong.
  • The maid says that Mrs. Honour called Mrs. Western an "ugly old cat" (7.8.4).
  • Mrs. Western demands to know how Mrs. Honour would dare to say such a thing.
  • Mrs. Honour is so mad that she says that "somebody" is not as pretty as Sophia, and Mrs. Western "[knows] that as well as I" (7.8.5).
  • Mrs. Western promises to go to Squire Western to get Mrs. Honour fired.
  • Mrs. Honour wishes Mrs. Western luck in finding servants, if she fires everyone who thinks she's ugly. (Oh, snap!)
  • As Mrs. Western stalks off, the two maids get into a physical brawl.
  • Mrs. Honour wins.