(for the pedants here wanting to point out that this is Saturday, I actually wrote this on Friday, but between distractions and being called away from my computer for a bit, didn't get to hit "Publish.")
It was good that we got the warning a couple of chapters back about chapter length and focus on long/short time periods, because we got some pretty long chapters (longest yet) about a brief period of time here.
Mrs. Wilkins, Tom's chief caretaker, is no fool. She sees a future wherein Capt. Blifil has taken the place of Mr. Allworthy as her employer and starts to curry favor with him and gives him more reasons than he already had to disapprove of Tom, which leads to a trial for a suspected father of "little Tommy." It seems to me that an innocent man was the victim of a smear campaign started by his wife and was railroaded. But honestly, I had a hard time caring about this part and my eyes glazed over a bit—I'll come back and revisit the chapter if it turns out to be important.
The Narrator gives a few humorous observations about marriage leading to the observation that as the Captain grows in his antipathy for little Tommy, he does so in a way that it ends up moving Mrs. Blifil to love him more—to the point that she loves him "almost equally with her own Child."
I really didn't connect with anything in these chapters, honestly. The writing was charming and it did make me smile a few times, but I just didn't see why I should care about anything here. Which probably means that this is vital and in 400 pages I'll be kicking myself for not understanding something that Fielding laid the groundwork for here.