Book 7 Chapter 10 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.

We finally meet up again with Tom Jones in this chapter. He's on his way to Bristol, and his guide has no idea how to get there. Tom stops in a small town to ask directions from two country bumpkins who are of less than no help to him. A helpful Quaker man sees his trouble and offers to help him, informing him that they won't find the road before nightfall, and so they retire to a public house for the evening. The Quaker informs Tom that just that day his daughter had run away and married for love, instead of marrying the match he had chosen for her. This is precisely the wrong story to tell Jones, who very astutely tells the man to welcome his daughter home, as he has become the sole source of misery in the life of a person he claims to love. The Quaker becomes affronted and begins speaking with the innkeeper, whose own wife had that day run away, taking everything they owned. Jones' guide has informed the innkeeper who Jones is, and therefore the innkeeper is worried Jones will try to rob him, so he stays up all night watching Jones sleep in a pile of straw.

AuthorMark Turetsky