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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book Sixteen

Chapters 6 - 10

Summary

We now learn what has been happening to Blifil so far. Squire Western sends word to Blifil in the country that he has found Sophia. Blifil immediately wishes to rush to London. But Squire Allworthy is reluctant to force Sophia into a match, when he notes her aversion to Blifil. But both Blifil & Thwackum persuade Allworthy and consequently Squire Allworthy accompanies Blifil to London. Square has gone to Bath in the meanwhile, in order to attend to his health.

Mr. Western and Blifil enter upon Mrs. Western and Sophia suddenly. The ladies are surprised and Mrs. Western shoos the men away and declares that they will meet later.

Lord Fellamar continues to be passionate about Sophia. He commissions Captain Egglane for the purpose. Lady Bellaston reassures Lord Fellamar that he should not be disappointed by Squire Western's behavior. Lady Bellaston encourages the Lord's love for Sophia.


Lady Western is pleased to hear of Lord Fellamarís interest in Sophia and she encourages it. Lady Bellaston tells Lady Western of Tomís addresses to her and also shows her the letter in which Tom proposed marriage to her (Lady Bellaston). Lady Western keeps the letter and intends to show it to Sophia.

In the meanwhile, Tom attends on Mrs. Fitzpatrick at the appointed hour. She tries to convince Tom into paying attention to Lady Western, in order to have access to Sophia Mrs. Fitzpatrick also seems to be attracted to Tom. While Tom is leaving the above Lady's house he bumps into none other Mr. Fitzpatrick. Mr. Fitzpatrick had got a letter from Mrs. Western regarding the whereabouts of Mrs. Fitzpatrick. He therefore comes to her house at London. On seeing Tom coming out from there, he gets jealous. He thinks that this is the same man who might have been with Mrs. Fitzpatrick at Upton. He attacks Tom and Tom retaliates. Mr. Fitzpatrick is badly wounded. There are couple of gentlemen onlookers who were put onto the job of keeping an eye on Tom by Lord Fellamar. Jones is now taken prisoner and then made to appear before the justice. The Surgeon who dresses Mr. Fitzpatrick declares that the wound is mortal and so Jones is committed to the Gatehouse. Partridge is fearful when he comes to meet his master at the jail. He delivers Tom a letter from Sophia; Sophia is angry at seeing Tom's love letter to Lady Bellaston and demands an explanation. Poor Tom is in a miserable condition.

Notes Squire Western is faithful to Blifil. As soon as he realizes that he has not sent word to Blifil regarding Sophia, he does the needful. Blifil will do anything to attain Sophia but genuine love for her is doubtful. He is more impressed by her father's fortune and by her external beauty. Blifil is eager to go to London on hearing news of Sophia. It is Squire Allworthy who notes that Blifil's passion may be a false one, he also realizes that Sophia must hate Blifil very much, if she took the step of running away to London. But Blifil and his supporters are shrewd enough to convince Squire Allworthy into letting Blifil pursue Sophia. Bilfil swears he would never use violent means with a woman. Bilfil's selfish villany is seconded by the equally evil Thwackum. Together they persuade the Squire into letting Blifil go to London. We wonder why the Squire is unable to see beneath all their pretences. The problem is that the Squire often condemns the honest people, without realizing the treachery of the evil ones, such as Blifil.

On reaching London Blifil is quick to attend upon Squire Western. The Squire upholds Blifil's cause and hurries him to Sophia. Squire Western has loud blustering ways and he often over runs decency and courtesy in the bargain. Lady Western on the other hand, dislikes having her privacy disturbed without prior notice. She reprimands her brother for having barged in so boisterously. Sophia behaves like a delicate darling yet again and is shocked to see Blifil. Blifil too is at a loss of words for a change. He is flabbergasted. The Squire insists that Lady Western appoint a time for their meeting with Sophia. The Lady however does not oblige.

When Lady Western learns of Lord Fellamarís proposal, she entirely forgets Blifil. Lady Western values nobility and she encourages Lord Fellamarís proposal for her niece. Sophia on the other hand is completely unaffected by these attractions. Lady Western now proves as tiring to her niece as the her father has been. She berates young Sophia with long lectures on honor & chastity. From Lady Bellaston, Lady Western gets a love letter that the former had received from none other than Sophia. This is to be shown to Sophia one day to shock her out of her love for Tom. Lady Bellaston is unscrupulous enough to giver her private love letters to another. She has no scruples whatsoever. And her only desire is to attain Tom at whatever cost.

Tom goes to meet Mrs. Fitzpatrick; she is a jealous woman, who desires to have her revenge on Lady Western. She therefore encourages Tom to flirt with the elder Western lady, in order to have access to the younger that is Sophia. Lady Fitzpatrick's intention is clearly to hurt Lady Western. But Tom refuses to listen to her suggestion of courting Lady Western. Mrs. Fitzpatrick too is attracted by Tom's charms. We see that there are very few women who can resist Tom, all are drawn to him at one point or the other. It is his good looks that prove to be the bait.

We see that Tom gets into trouble when he is coming out of Lady Fitzpatrick's lodging, Mr. Fitzpatrick sees him. He is jealous of Tom and his jealousy results in a duel between the two. Tom is a young man who knows how to defend himself, he does not lack spirit and he wounds Mr. Fitzpatrick seriously Tom is arrested and jailed. Since Mr. Fitzpatrick is in danger of dying, Tom too is in danger of being tried for murder. Partridge hears this dismal news and runs to his master. Tom's grief is made more intense by a letter that he receives from Sophia. In this she expresses great disdain at his writing love letters to Lady Bellaston. Tom's state of mind is an unhappy one full of remorse and regret. He is in a tricky situation now and we are eager to see how he will be extricated.

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