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The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 33 Summary
Henchard is at the King of Prussia Inn, drinking beer with some of the townspeople. Most of the others have just come from church, so they're not drinking much. Some members of the church choir are there, and Henchard, who loves music, asks them to sing him a song. They feel sorry for him, so they agree. He chooses a Psalm that's all about revenge and making your enemy totally miserable. They're kind of uncomfortable singing it, but he finally bullies them into it. Once they're done, he tells them it was about Farfrae, and they're all really creeped out. Then Elizabeth-Jane arrives and persuades him to come home. Elizabeth-Jane is worried that Henchard will try to hurt Farfrae in some way and wonders whether she should try to warn him. Lucetta, meanwhile, doesn't realize that Farfrae has hired Henchard. Farfrae doesn't know about her past with Henchard, so why should he tell her? Lucetta accidentally runs into Henchard in the warehouse one day, and he's very sarcastic to her. She sends him a note later telling him not to treat her like that again. Elizabeth-Jane tries to keep Henchard from drinking too much by bringing him tea at five o'clock every day after work. One day she comes in with the tea and sees Henchard talking to Farfrae near the edge of a hay loft. Farfrae doesn't see that Henchard is clearly thinking of pushing him off. He doesn't, and probably wouldn't have, but it makes Elizabeth-Jane awfully uncomfortable. She resolves to warn Farfrae that Henchard might be planning something.
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