Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 8, Chapter 15

By Henry Fielding

Book 8, Chapter 15

A Brief History of Europe. And a Curious Discourse Between Mr. Jones and the Man of the Hill

  • The MotH (Man of the Hill) has found that, in all of his travels, people are the same everywhere.
  • (In the words of R&B legend Curtis Mayfield, "I've met many people over the years/And in my opinion, I have found that people/Are the same everywhere./They have the same fears/Shed similar tears/Die in so many years." We would never have guessed that the composer for the soundtrack of Super Fly (1972) and Henry Fielding's Man of the Hill would have something in common. But there you go.)
  • People in other countries dress differently and some of their manners are different.
  • But they all share "the same follies and vices" (8.15.2).
  • Tom is amazed that MotH can live here alone like he does.
  • The MotH says that it's enough for him to meditate on God and his powers.
  • The more he thinks about the divine, the more pathetic humans seem in comparison.
  • Tom argues that the MotH is concentrating too hard on the worst of humankind.
  • The MotH has been unlucky in the friends and lovers he has chosen, certainly.
  • But that doesn't mean that all humans are equally disgusting.
  • The MotH is clearly getting upset at this line of conversation, so Tom gives up.
  • It's dawn, so the MotH invites Tom to come and look at some beautiful nearby views.
  • Tom agrees, leaving Partridge napping.