Tom Jones: Part 2 - The Adventures on Road: Toward London

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      The Second Part relates the separate adventures of Tom and Sophia, from their departure of their respective homes in the country to arrival in London. The action takes place over a period of ten days. The central point in the narrative is the eventful night at Upton-on-Seven. Before this point, Sophia pursues Tom; after it, Tom pursues Sophia. In this section, many new characters are introduced. But if we omit Mrs. Waters, who eventually proves to be identical with Jenny Jones—the only new figures of importance are the handsome scoundrel Ensign Northerton, Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick, an impulsive Irish gentleman of jealous temper, and his pretty and giddy wife Harriet, Sophia's cousin. The story is interrupted by two long digressions - the narrative of the Man of the Hill and that of Mrs. Fitzpatrick.

      This Second Part has been written in exact accordance with a carefully thought out place-scheme and lime-scheme. Very precise details are given concerning the route taken by the travelers, and also concerning the time spent in accomplishing the several stages of the journey. Thus, when once it has been ascertained from what locality the lovers started, and at what dates they respectively commenced their wanderings, it is possible to follow their movements from place to place, from day to day, and indeed almost from hour to hour, up to their arrival at their destination - London.

      As to the point of departure Tom, set forth from Mr. Allworth's house, and Sophia from Squire Western's. But, since these houses were only about three miles apart, the young people started their travel from approximately the same locality. Nor is it difficult to identify the neighborhood which Fielding had in mind.

      As to the date of Tom's departure—from which when discovered, we are able to date the later departure of' Sophia—the text affords two significant indications. First, very late in the day following his expulsion from Allworthy's house, Tom encountered at Hambrook a body of soldiers, who were on their way to join the army of the glorious Duke of Cumberland against the Young Pretender and his Highlanders.

      Again, we are given very exact information concerning the route taken by the lovers—from Glastonbury northward to Gloucester and Upton-on-Seven, then through Pershore eastwards and northwards to Meriden, and finally southwards from Meriden and Coventry to London; and it seems certain that a great part, at any rate, of this route, Fielding was personally familiar with.

      Jones set out on his travels, but before he walked above a mile, he threw himself down by the side of a brook, wrote a letter to Sophia and another to Allworthy, asking Sophia to forget him and promising Allworthy that he had bound himself to quit all thoughts of his love. When he put his hands in his pockets for wax to seal the letter to Sophia, he discovered that he had lost the packet he had received from Allworthy. The search, in which he was helped by Black George whom he had casually met, was not successful, because they omitted to search the only place where it was deposited: to wit the pockets of Black George himself. Black George, however, did him the favor of taking his letter to Sophia's waiting-maid, Mrs. Honour and through her, to Sophia herself, and bringing Sophia's letter, coming through the same channel to Tom, and later, a purse, which contained sixteen guineas, and which Sophia asked Mrs. Honour to convey to him.

      Tom did not know where to go, but he at last decided upon going to sea and for that purpose, started for Bristol. In the meanwhile, the obstinacy of her guardians in compelling her to marry against her will, suggested to Sophia the idea of escaping from her house at night and going to London in the company of Mrs. Honour to Lady Bellaston whom she had known through Mrs. Western and she carried out the idea so far as to leave her father's house immediately. Tom lost his way and had to put up at an inn at the dead of night, where he met a company of officers who were in search of recruits. Tom offered himself as a volunteer. While they were making themselves merry, Tom was led on to propose the toast of his girl and, by degrees, almost all his love affairs became public property. Of course, a good deal more had been already told to the landlady by the guide who had misled Tom. He rode just at the expense of Sophia; drove Tom into a temper and when he told Ensign Northerton that he was the most impudent rascal, Northerton threw a bottle at Tom which seriously wounded him. The lieutenant of the company made Northerton prisoner, but Northerton, who had about £50 belonging to the company, paid that sum to the landlady and effected his escape at night. When Tom went to the place where Northerton had been confined, he found that the bird had flown. The officers left the place soon afterward and Jones, whose wounds were not yet healed, made the acquaintance of Little Benjamin alias Mr. Partridge who attended him in the capacity of a Barber-surgeon, and who, as we have noted some while ago, was charged with having been the real father of Tom. Partridge believed that Allworthy himself was Tom’s father and felt that Tom would ultimately regain his favor, and, therefore, from motives of farsighted prudence, offered to accompany him wherever he went. Mr. Jones and Partridge now traveledon to Gloucester and here Mr. Dowling, the Salisbury attorney who had taken the news of Mrs. Blifil's death to Allworthy, had the chance of first meeting him. Proceeding, then, they came across the Man of the Hill whom Jones saved from some robbers and from whom they heard the interesting account of his life, which, however, has no connection with the story. Partridge fell into a profound repose in the middle of the story and, while he was enjoying his nap, the Man of the Hill took Jones up the Mazard Hill nearby to show the beautiful prospects that the hill commanded. While on the top of the hill, they heard some violent shrieks which brought Jones to the bushes from which the shrieks proceeded, leading to the rescue of one Mrs. Waters from the clutches of Ensign Northerton. Ensign Northerton managed to escape and Jones took, on the advice of the man of the Hill, Mrs. Waters to an inn in Upton. Mrs. Waters was almost bare and her appearance did not prepossess the landlady in favor of the visitors. A scuffle ensued in which Jones, very soon, got the help of Partridge who was directed there by the Man of the Hill. A lady and her maid coming in their coach at the time, ended the scuffle and some soldiers who came, not long after, disclosed the identity of Mrs. Waters as the pseudo-wife of Captain Waters, but not quite unfriendly to Norther ton who belonged to his regiment. Her scuffle with Northerton was due to the idea that came into his head of robbing her money when a suitable opportunity offered itself to him.

      Tom, very readily, fell a victim to the amorous susceptibility of Mrs. Waters and while he was in her bedroom, Mr. Fitzpatrick, whose wife had deserted him and who had reliable information that she was, at this time, at this inn, was led there by the maid who mistook Mrs. Waters for the lost wife of Mr. Fitzpatrick. A terrible combat ensued between Tom and Mr. Fitzpatrick which ended when an Irish friend of Fitzpatrick's, who was an inmate of the inn on this occasion, appeared there and noted the fact that Mrs. Waters was not Mrs. Fitzpatrick. In the meanwhile, Sophia and Mrs. Honour had also come there. Mrs. Honour learned from Partridge, who was, by no means, reserved about any of Tom's affairs, that Tom Jones was there, and on intimate terms with Mrs. Waters. Through Mrs. Honour and through the maid of the inn, whom she paid handsomely for the information, Sophia learned the whole story and what exasperated Sophia most was her belief that Tom was making rather too free with her name and exposing it in a barbarous manner. She left the inn without delay, yet not without arranging to have the muff, which Tom had kissed, placed in Tom's bed. Noticing the muff and hearing from Partridge the broken bits of information which he gave to Jones, Jones ordered Partridge to run down and hire him horses and a very few minutes afterward, he hastened downstairs to execute the orders himself. In the meanwhile, Squire Western, who had come in pursuit of his daughter, and Fitzpatrick, whose dull head had just now suggested that even if Mrs. Waters was not Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Fitzpatrick may still have been there, had come to the kitchen of this inn. Jones encountered them with Sophia's muff in his hand. Squire Western immediately laid hold of Jones, and expected to find Sophia there. Of course, he was disappointed as Sophia had already left the house. Mrs. Fitzpatrick also had gone away and Mr. Fitzpatrick, who had learned that she was going to Bath, went that way. Western departed in pursuit of his daughter. Jones could not bring himself even to take leave of Mrs. Waters. He set forward that very moment in quest of Sophia, and Mrs. Waters found, in Mr. Fitzpatrick, a good companion to Bath.

      Mrs. Fitzpatrick changed her original plans of going to Bath and she went the same way as Sophia. On the way, they met and recognized each other. Mrs. Fitzpatrick was, indeed, the niece of. Squire Western, and had married for love. In so doing, she had displeased Squire and Mrs. Western, and had repented of it. She told her story to Sophia and Sophia told her, as much of hers as she could. At the next inn, the landlord mistook Sophia for the celebrated Jenny Cameron, whose name is associated in history with the Pretender, and treated her with marked respect Mrs. Honour disillusioned the landlord, but if he thought less highly of her because of this, his new visitor, an Irish peer, who appeared more than ordinarily intimate with Mrs. Fitzpatrick, re-established the ladies in his good opinion. It was through this Irish Peer that Mrs. Fitzpatrick had escaped from her husband and, in his coach and six, Sophia and Mrs. Fitzpatrick now proceeded to London. Or arriving in London, Sophia went to Lady Bellaston's and Mrs. Fitzpatrick lived in a house frequently visited by the Irish Peer.

      Jones happened to follow Sophia by the same path as that by which she had gone to the inn where ie Irish Peer had met Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Hence, he succeeded in recovering a pocket-book of Sophia's which contained a bank-bill of £100, and which Sophia had lost on the way. Encountering some adventures on the way and getting more and more information of Sophia's route, Jones and Partridge had, very nearly, overtaken the coach and six in which she had traveled, but actually missed it only by a few hours. On the last stage of their journey to London, they met a highwayman who was a novice in his trade and whom distress — acute distress—had prompted to such an undertaking, and to whom, on this occasion, Partridge, by casually mentioning the £100 bank bills of Sophia in Tom's pocket, offered a strong temptation. Jones readily vanquished the highwayman, but knowing his distress, gave him two guineas and wished he had more for his sake, "for the hundred pounds that had been mentioned was not his own."

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