Book 12 Chapter 7 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.

In this chapter, we learn the political leanings of the people at the inn. It turns out they're all Jacobites! Since this book takes place during a failed Jacobite rebellion, that should be concerning to all those present who might be loyal to the Hanoverian dynasty. It should be noted that at this point in history, the Pretender, James Francis Edward, had taken on a quasi-mythical significance to his followers, and would someday return to set everything right. There is, of course, also much concern among the people at the inn that he would impose his Catholicism on the nation if he ever took control.

At a certain point late in the chapter, they all toast to his health, which apparently you do by toasting the king while your mug is over some vessel containing water, and that way it would be understood that you're toasting the king "over the water" (ie, in exile in France).

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AuthorMark Turetsky