Book 6 Chapter 5 of Tom Jones.

This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones over the course of four years.

Now the other shoe has dropped. Mrs. Western goes to Sophia to tell her the good news: Mr. Western has proposed her marriage to Blifil to Mr. Allworthy, and Allworthy has accepted. However, it quickly comes out that Mrs. Western misread Sophia, and the good news becomes bad. Sophia despises Blifil (she's too polite to say it in quite so many words), and Mrs. Western is shocked to learn that Sophia is in love with a bastard. Mrs. Western makes a deal with Sophia: she will keep Sophia's secret about her love for Jones, but only if Sophia pretends to love Blifil and marries him. So, you know, a pretty fair deal for all parties involved.

A quick note: at the beginning of this chapter, Sophia seems to be reading David Simple, by Sarah Fielding, Henry Fielding's sister. It's treated as something of a joke, so I won't deal with the implications of Henry Fielding existing in the world of his own book.


AuthorMark Turetsky