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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book One

Chapters 8- 13

Summary

In the eighth chapter, Mrs. Deborah overhears Squire Allworthy's conversation with Jenny. She is angry at Jenny for not revealing the father's name and vows to find out the name soon. At this vow, Miss Bridget reproves her for excessive curiosity and then goes on to praise Jenny Jones for the spirit and honour with which she had acted. This behavior of Miss Bridget surprises Mrs. Deborah but she is diplomatic enough to agree with the former immediately. The two then condemn the faults of beauty and the wicked arts of deceitful men.

Jenny returns home in the ninth chapter, while all her fellow villagers condemn her. Jenny is however soon removed out of reach of reproach by the Squire. All the villagers criticize this move but they can do nothing. The Squire too is suspected to be the baby's father but the author clears this suspicion.

The hospitality of Squire Allworthy is described here. Two characters who often visited the Squire are described here. One is a Dr. Blifil, who at the age of forty had no bread to eat, he put on a great appearance of religion and was consequently liked by both the Squire and his sister. He would have liked to marry Bridget but he already had a wife, who even the Squire knew to be alive. So, he decides to introduce his brother to the house instead, so that he might have an opportunity to marry Bridget. Thus, he calls his brother, who is a Captain.

In the eleventh chapter, we see that Bridget falls passionately in love with the Captain's conversation while she ignores the defects in his person. The Captain on perceiving her passion returns it faithfully. The Captain is more impressed by Squire Allworthy's estate than by the person of his sister. He eyes her fortune and the fact that his son through her would inherit the entire estate. So, he courts her discreetly and the Squire never gets to know. This courtship extends for a month.


In the twelfth chapter, the Captain and Miss Bridget are married. This news is broken to the Squire through Doctor Blifil and the Squire is surprised, to say the least. The Squire is reconciled to his sister's choice because he thinks that she is old enough to decide for herself. So, while the brother - Doctor Blifil pretends to complain of the treachery of his brother, the Squire thinks that the match is fine as long as the couple is happy. The Doctor praises the Squire's benevolence.

In the last chapter of Book One, Captain Blifil begins to be cold to his brother as soon as he is married to Bridget and is reconciled to his brother-in-law. This strange, cruel and unaccountable ingratitude in the Captain breaks the poor doctor's heart. Squire Allworthy too speaks to the Captain about the unjustness of such behavior, and the Captain pretends to improve his behavior a little. But, the rancor remains within him and he gives hints to his brother that he should leave. The Doctor considers revealing all to the Squire but realizes that he himself would be seen as guilty then. So, he leaves the house and goes to London, where he dies of a broken heart. It is explained that his brother treated him so meanly because of jealousy, envy and contempt. More so, he was too proud to be obliged to his brother for his good fortune.

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