Book 7 Chapter 11 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.

A small regiment of soldiers joins the inn scene from the previous chapter. The soldiers at first have a disagreement over the splitting of their bill, as some soldiers who had shown up earlier had taken drinks but not paid for them, and now the ones left are stuck with the bill. Tom, always the gallant, offers to cover the entire tab, and gets a rousing cheer. He decides to go volunteer for the regiment, citing his support for their cause.

Their cause, in this case, is what's referred to as "The Forty-Five," placing this chapter specifically in the year of 1745. At the time, Charles Edward Stuart, of the exiled Stuart Dynasty (his grandfather was James II), made yet another failed bid to take England back for the Stuarts and for Catholicism.

Tom, as a gentleman volunteer, gets invited into the officers' tent to dine.

The painting pictured with this chapter is Hogarth's The March of the Guards to Finchley, which is extremely apt for this chapter: the guards pictured are from the same uprising, marching to London to protect it, which is precisely what the soldiers in this chapter are doing.

AuthorMark Turetsky