Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Chapters 1 - 8
Fielding makes the very popular analogy of the world and the stage. Jones receives a message from Squire Allworthy, written on behalf of the Squire by Blifil. The letter is quite demeaning and the Squire does not call Tom back. Tom is sad and he resolves to leave the country and to go to sea.
In the meanwhile, Mrs. Western lectures Sophia while the latter insists that she cannot marry a man, whom she hates. She is referring to Blifil. Squire Western and his sister have an argument and she storms out of the house.
Squire Western's habits are described and so is his wife, who is now no more. Sophia defends her aunt to her father and tells him that if her aunt had died, she would have left her brother her entire estate. Sophia persuades her father to bring back his sister. Sophia retires to her chamber and grieves over Tom.
Squire Western manages to persuade his sister to come back home. The brother and sister decide to be more strict and forceful with Sophia. Blifil goes to meet Sophia and thinks that his reception is quite satisfactory. Squire Western decides to get Sophia married to Blifil as soon as possible. The reasons behind Blifil's enthusiasm for Sophia are listed by Fielding. Squire Western doesn't realize that Blifil is not truly in love with Sophia. Squire Allworthy too does not realize the truth of the matter.
Mrs. Honour toys with the idea of betraying Sophia and of making her fortune through Squire Western. But then she decides to be faithful to her mistress. Honour has a fight with Mrs. Western's maid and Honour insults Mrs. Western. The two chambermaids even get into a physical altercation.