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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book 18

Chapters 1 - 6

Summary

In the first chapter the author bids farewell to the reader and heartily wishes them well.

In the second chapter Partridge enters Tomís prison cell and tells him that he has committed incest by going to bed with Mrs. Waters, as she is Tomís mother. Tom is made wretched by this news and sends a letter to Mrs. Waters. He in turn gets a letter from Mrs. Waters, which also informs him that Mr. Fitzpatrick is now out of danger. Now Black George comes to visit Tom and offers him financial help, if needed. But Tom is sad about the act committed with his Ďmotherí and says that no one can do anything to help him. Black George tells him that Sophia once again enjoys her fatherís favor and that Sophiaís aunt and Squire Western had a terrible fight over the proposal made by Lord Fellamar.

In the third chapter, Squire Allworthy visits the elderly Mr. Nightingale to persuade him to reconcile with his son. In his house, the Squire discovers the money that Black George had stolen from Tom. The Squire comes back to Mrs. Miller to tell her the good news of the reconciliation that the older Mr. Nightingale had agreed to. The Squire meets the younger Nightingale. He also meets the lawyer Dowling, regarding Tomís stolen money. Nightingale tells the Squire that Tom is out of danger as Mr. Fitzpatrick confessses that he was the aggressor himself. Nightingale also praises Tom Jones to the Squire and the Squire starts changing his mind, regarding Tom.

In the fourth chapter, we read two important letters to Squire Allworthy from Square and Thwackum respectively. Square confesses his severe behavior with Tom and praises the young man. Thwackum on the other hand writes in an authoritative style and condemns the young Tom.


In the fifth chapter, Mr. Allworthy learns about the men that Lord Fellamar had employed to press Tom on to a ship. He is further surprised that his lawyer Dowling had been speaking to these men. Mr. Nightingale confirms the above fact. The Squire questions Blifil about this and the latter replies that he had sent the lawyer in order to aid Tom and see if the evidence could be softened against him. The Squire is reassured by this answer and decides to visit Tom in jail. But Mrs. Miller dissuades the Squire because Partridge tells her that Tom and Mrs. Waters are lamenting the fact that they went to bed together. Partridge meets Squire Allworthy and the latter questions the former about Tom.

In the sixth chapter the Squire continues to question Partridge and the latter describes his history, after he had left Paddington. He reiterates that he is not Tomís father and then relates the grave folly of Tom and Mrs. Waters going to bed together. Just then Mrs. Waters enters and insists on speaking to the Squire alone.

Mrs. Waters reveals a surprising secret to Allworthy and that is that Mr. Summer, who was a friendís son, was the father of Tom. Even more surprising is that Mrs. Waters declares that Miss Bridget was the mother of Tom. They both-Mr. Summers and Miss Bridget are dead since then. Mrs. Waters further reveals that his sister had intended to reveal this secret to him. She then condemns the Squire for being so cruel to Tom as to send a lawyer to help convict the young man. She tells him that she had met Mr. Dowling and that the lawyer had said that there was another person behind him, supporting those who would help convict Tom. The Squire is greatly taken aback at this news.

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