Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 7, Chapter 9

By Henry Fielding

Book 7, Chapter 9

The Wise Demeanour of Mr. Western in the Character of a Magistrate. A Hint to Justices of Peace, Concerning the Necessary Qualifications of a Clerk, With Extraordinary Instances of Paternal Madness, and Filial Afffection

  • Like Squire Allworthy, Squire Western is a justice of the peace for the people on his estate.
  • When Squire Western hears what Mrs. Honour said to his sister, he swears he'll send her to a house of correction.
  • Luckily, Squire Western has a clerk who actually knows something about law.
  • The clerk informs Squire Western that, unfortunately, you can't actually send someone to jail for being rude.
  • Still, Mrs. Honour does get fired, though, which sets up Sophia's escape plan nicely.
  • Mrs. Honour now has no choice but to pack up all of her things.
  • Sophia and Mrs. Honour arrange to meet up at midnight.
  • That evening, Squire Western speaks to Sophia so angrily that she pretends to obey his orders.
  • When it seems like Sophia is going along with his plans, Squire Western suddenly becomes very kind to her again.
  • Squire Western's sudden niceness makes Sophia feel really guilty about running away.
  • But then she remembers Tom and forgets any thoughts of obeying her father.