Mrs. Honours: Character Analysis in Tom Jones

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      Mrs. Honours, Sophia's maid is equally selfish, calculating, and greedy. But she is not a copy of Mrs. Wilkins. She has a developed personality, greater shrewdness and probably more intelligence than the woman servant at the Allworthys'; she is more ambitious, too. Mrs. Honours has 'some little attachment to Sophia' (Book VII, Chapter 7); and secretly informs her of her father's plan to marry her off to Blifil. But as Sophia decides to leave her house for London, and to take her maid along with her, Mrs. Honour's is afraid of the risks of the journey, and seeks to persuade her mistress not to dare out. The amused Sophia wonders if Mrs. Honours could not "fire a pistol at any one who should attack your virtue."

      Mrs. Honours is so unwilling to accompany Sophia, that for a while she even toys with the idea of preventing her escape by divulging her (Sophia's) plan to Squire Western. Hope of a handsome reward for so great and acceptable a service to the Squire, also inspired this idea in her; but ultimately she does not act accordingly, for another selfish and worldly, and more interesting consideration. She can have higher reward from Sophia than from her father, for the daughter is more generous than the father. And secondly, she wanted to see London—"a place in which she fancied charms short only of those which a raptured saint imagines in heaven". Lost in calculations, Mrs. Honours connot decide either way—that is whether to go with Sophia, or not, when an accident solves her problem. A quarrel with Mrs. Western's maid who, though herself superior to Mrs. Honours ("First her birth was higher. Secondly, her wages were greater. And lastly, she had been at London, and had of consequence seen more of the world") engages the mistress, Mrs. Western herself who threatens to get her (Mrs. Honours) a discharge from her brother. A sharp retort, which provides capital comic enjoyment to the reader, greets the lady —Mrs. Honours, at once, decides to go.

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