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Chapters 1 - 6
The author invokes the muses to enable him to perform his task of writing well.
Jones & Partridge arrive at London. Tom looks for Sophia but cannot find her. He reaches Mrs. Fitzpatrick's house about ten minutes after the departure of Sophia. He wishes to meet Mrs. Fitzpatrick whom he recognizes to be Sophia's cousin but she refuses to see Tom. But, Tom persists standing outside the house.
He is finally allowed to meet Mrs. Fitzpatrick. She thinks that Tom is Blifil, the man whom Sophia is fleeing. She therefore does not tell him where Sophia is. It is only after he leaves that she learns that this is Tom, not Blifil. Her waiting woman tells her of the Sophia - Tom affair which Mrs. Fitzpatrick had known nothing about.
Mrs. Fitzpatrick decides to protect Sophia from Tom as she had heard of his rakish reputation. By preserving Sophia from this man and by restoring her to her father she thinks she will be able to reconcile herself to both her uncle & her aunt (Mrs. Western).
Mrs. Fitzpatrick resolves to go and see Lady Bellaston and to take her aid in executing the above mentioned plan. Lady Bellaston had already heard from her waiting woman about the charms of Tom Jones. The two ladies decide to keep Tom away from Sophia. Lady Bellaston is eager to see Tom for herself and the two plan how this can be accomplished.
Jones visits Mrs. Fitzpatrick again with queries regarding Sophia. He even shows her Sophia's lost pocket book that he would have liked to return to her. Lady Bellaston arrives now and so do another Lord and Lady. Tom leaves and after his departure this 'aristocratic' company discusses him.
The next morning Tom arrives at Mrs. Fitzpatrick's door again but is not allowed to see her. Tom goes to the lodging of a lady, of whom he had heard from Squire Allworthy. In this house Tom gets a room. A young witty gentleman, who also resides in this house is rescued by Tom from a footman, who pins the former close to the wall. Nancy the eldest daughter of the house thanks Tom for aiding the attacked young man.
The young gentleman, Nightingale insists that Tom have a drink with him. Nancy joins the two men. Nightingale explains why he had fought with his footman. Nancy's mother and sister too now join the company. These women too are quite impressed by Tom. The author describes them. Jones gets along well with Mr. Nightingale.
The next morning Tom is very sad because he learns that Mrs. Fitzpatrick has left her lodging and there is no way of knowing where she has gone. Nightingale speaks about ‘love’. Mrs. Miller asks her daughter Nancy, the reason behind her quietness.
Nightingale offers to conduct Tom to the masquerade that evening. Nancy is not allowed to go to the dance. Tom is unhappy, as he has no money. He tells Partridge that he is sorry for having dragged the latter along too in such poor circumstance. Partridge urges Tom to return home. He finally learns that Squire Allworthy has thrown Tom out of the house. Partridge is surprised at this news. Tom and Nightingale leave for the masquerade.