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The narrator expounds on the analogy between world and stage, so often made in literature. From this, he says, we might applaud those who have been so good at mimicking the world that we cannot tell the copy from the original. He says, however, that the audience has always been forgotten in these comparisons. The narrator predicts how his spectators' reactions to Black George stealing Tom's five hundred pounds. He says that the people of worst character are the first to criticize.
Jones is sent his possessions by Allworthy, with an accompanying letter from Blifil telling him that Allworthy no longer wants to speak to Tom. Blifil urges Tom to change his lifestyle. Tom laments having to abandon Sophia, then, having decided to go to sea, hires horses to take him to Bristol. Here we will leave Tom's story, says the narrator, and return to Sophia.
Sophia is now released from her prison. She says that her refusal of Blifil is the only matter on which she will disobey her aunt and her father. She despises him. This confession makes Mrs. Western even more resolved to marry her off to Blifil. She asserts that in a marriage, the "Alliance between the Families is the principal Matter." Western swears at Sophia, causing Mrs. Western to remind him not to intervene. Western accuses his sister of filling Sophia's head "with a Pack of Court Notions." He says that she has "made a Whig of the Girl." Mrs. Western storms out of the house, leaving Sophia concerned and Squire Western enraged.
Mr. Western moans to Sophia that men are always mistreated. He claims it was hard enough with Sophia's mother. Sophia's mother died when Sophia was eleven years old. She was a faithful wife to Mr. Western, who "returned that Behaviour, by making what the World calls a good Husband. He very seldom swore at her (perhaps not above once a Week) and never beat her." Western gets satisfaction out of complaining of Sophia's late mother since he is envious of the greater love Sophia bore for her mother than for him.
Sophia refuses to say a word during her father's invective against her mother. This makes him even angrier. He supposes that she will take her aunt's side too. Sophia does not want to seem ungrateful to her father, but she must remind him that her aunt loves him more than any sister loves a brother. He accuses Sophia of causing his sister such "violent Passions." Sophia encourages him to stop Mrs. Western from departing, to which Western finally agrees. Sophia rereads Tom's letter and cries over her muff. Mrs. Honour comforts her by recounting a list of the most eligible bachelors in the neighborhood, which results in Sophia angrily dismissing Honour.
Squire Western and Mrs. Western reunite as they plan the match between Sophia and Blifil. Blifil visits Sophia but the narrator says that he is going to omit the details of this scene. Blifil is happy with the courtship, but Western, who has eavesdropped with his sister on the meeting, is not, and wants the youths to tie the knot the following day. Blifil agrees with Western, since he was in fact not satisfied with the meeting. To stop the reader's suspense, the narrator confides that Blifil is not entirely devoid of Lust and now thinks of Sophia as "a most delicious Morsel." Moreover, Blifil savors the fact that he has triumphed over Tom. Allworthy gives his assent and the "Treaty" is closed. Sophia's actions will soon disrupt the Treaty, however.
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