Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 9, Chapter 6

By Henry Fielding

Book 9, Chapter 6

A Friendly Conversation in the Kitchin, Which Had a Very Common, Tho' Not Very Friendly Conclusion

  • While all of this canoodling is going on upstairs, there's a party going on in the kitchen.
  • Partridge, the landlord, the landlady, the sergeant, and a coachman are all gathered around some beer.
  • The landlady and landlord fall to arguing over whose fault the afternoon's brawl actually was. They each blame the other.
  • Partridge tells them all that he is traveling with the heir to the great Squire Allworthy.
  • He says that they just came from an adventure with the Man of the Hill, whom Partridge still thinks is the devil.
  • The group thinks over the nature of the devil: mainly, they agree that he has to exist, because who else would punish the people who deserve it?
  • The landlord says something about the devil taking an officer who stiffed him on his hotel bill.
  • The sergeant takes offense and accuses the landlord of hating both the army and the king.
  • Partridge tries to calm things down, but the sergeant thinks he's insulting him.
  • The sergeant challenges everyone to a duel, and the coachman randomly accepts.
  • The sergeant beats the tar out of the coachman.
  • The coachman is so drunk (and now injured) that he can't drive anywhere.
  • His employer, a young lady who appears to be "in love, and running away from her friends" (9.6.6), calls for him, but he can't answer.
  • The landlady runs up and tells Tom and Mrs. Waters what's been happening downstairs.
  • Tom sighs a little at the news of the young lady in distress over her coachman.
  • Mrs. Waters realizes that he's probably in love with a similar young lady, but she doesn't mind.
  • She's satisfied with Tom's body and doesn't really want his heart.