Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 8, Chapter 9

By Henry Fielding

Book 8, Chapter 9

Containing Several Dialogues Between Jones and Partridge, Concerning Love, Cold, Hunger, and Other Matters; With the Lucky and Narrow Escape of Partridge, As He Was on the Very Brink of Making a Fatal Discovery to his Friend

  • The sun starts to set as Tom and Partridge are still walking.
  • Tom talks poetically about the moon and the beauty of the evening.
  • Partridge complains that he is freezing.
  • Tom tries to talk about Sophia, but Partridge keeps going back to dreams of roast beef.
  • Partridge tells Tom he could see Sophia again if they just turned back on their road.
  • Tom insists that he can't. He is going to seek "a glorious death in the service of my King and Country" (8.9.3).
  • Partridge believes this whole war thing is going to blow over soon anyway.
  • (See our "Detailed Summary" of Book 7, Chapter 11 for an explanation of which war he's talking about.)
  • It turns out that Partridge is secretly on the side of the rebels.
  • He assumes that Tom is, too, and that Tom wants to join them in Scotland.
  • Luckily for Partridge, Tom starts sounding off on his deep loyalty to King George II before Partridge gets going on his own political beliefs.
  • So Partridge decides to shut up about the rebellion.
  • It's much more important to him to be friendly with Tom than to support the rebels' cause.
  • He still thinks Tom is going to be Squire Allworthy's heir.
  • So he doesn't want to separate himself from a potential cash cow.