Tom Jones


Book VII

Summary Book VII

Chapter VII

Honour tells Sophia she is to be married the following morning. Honour says she would not object to marrying Blifil, whom she thinks to be "a charming, sweet, handsome Man." Sophia announces her plan to run away from the house that evening and to stay with a lady relative in London, whom she met at her aunt's house, and who invited Sophia to her house whenever Sophia was in London. She says that if Honour really possesses the friendship she has always claimed, then she will accompany her. Honour expresses concern at the idea of them walking alone in the freezing cold of winter, but Sophia promises compensation. Together, they plot how Honour can get herself dismissed by Mr. Western.

Chapter VIII

Honour weighs up the pros and cons of running away with Sophia. She desires to see London, and Sophia's generosity promises more monetary rewards. Mrs. Western's maid provokes Honour by calling Sophia a "Country Girl," and Honour retaliates by saying that Sophia is "younger, and ten thousand Times more handsomer" than Mrs. Western. Mrs. Western's maid tells Mrs. Western that Honour called her "ugly." Mrs. Western refuses to sleep another night in the house unless Squire Western discharges her.

Chapter IX

After threatening to send Honour to Bridewell prison, Squire Western, who is also a Justice of Peace, merely dismisses her. Honour now has no qualms about running away with Sophia, and they pick a place to meet at midnight. Sophia consents to her father's wish for her to marry Blifil, and he rewards her with a generous bank bill. Sophia so enjoys making her father happy that she now has some doubts about leaving, but then Sophia's thoughts of Tom destroy all her filial obedience. The narrator hopes the reader is not disappointed with Sophia, but pleads that he cannot "vindicate the Character of our Heroine, by ascribing her Actions to supernatural Impulse."

Chapter X

Tom and his guide have lost their way. At the first village, Tom asks some men for directions. A quaker by the name of Broadbrim points out to Tom that he is on the wrong route and recommends a reputable public house to Tom, since it is dark and there have been robberies nearby. At this public house, the Landlord Robin tells Jones his history. He has nothing in the house because his wife and his wife's favorite daughter, who has just married, have taken everything. Broadbrim tells Tom that his daughter ran away with a man, rejecting the prosperous marriage he arranged for her. Tom pushes Broadbrim violently out of the room. Robin accuses Tom of being a bastard, and Tom is made to sleep in a chair. Robin cannot sleep, terrified that Tom will rob his bare house.

Chapter XI

During the night, a troop of soldiers arrives and demands beer from the landlord. Tom mingles with the men. Some soldiers leave the house without paying for their drinks and a dispute arises. Tom, who has been speaking to the Sergeant about becoming a volunteer in the army to confront the Jacobite rebels, offers to pay the bill. This wins Jones the appellations of "honourable, noble, and worthy Gentleman." Tom is attracted to the army by his love of liberty and the Protestant religion. He marches off with the Serjeant, who tells Tom made-up stories about his conquests. Tom is introduced to the Lieutenant, who marvels at Tom's "Air of Dignity."

Chapter XII

The Lieutenant, who is almost sixty years old, has not received many promotions despite his forty-year military career. It does as not help that his wife, whom his commander fancied, refused to sacrifice her virtue for her husband's career. The Lieutenant is a "religious, honest, good-natured Man."