by George Eliot
Middlemarch Book 2, Chapter 16 Summary
- Lydgate and various other Middlemarchers are having dinner at the Vincys' house.
- The subject of who would be the chaplain of the new fever hospital comes up at dinner.
- The matter will be decided by a vote from the board of directors, and Lydgate remarks that stuff like that is too often decided by popularity, instead of by who's the best person for the job.
- After dinner, Rosamond and Lydgate have a chat in the drawing room about music and such, and then Rosamond is called upon to sing to the whole group.
- Mr. Farebrother arrives just as a lot of the group is about to sit down to play whist (whist is a card game kind of like bridge or spades – played with four people, and often with bets).
- He's a threadbare, unmarried forty-year-old vicar.
- Lydgate likes him, but doesn't like that he plays whist for money.
- The truth of the matter, though, is that Mr. Farebrother needs the money that he makes at cards to help support his old mother and aunt, who live with him.
- Lydgate leaves the dinner party convinced that he's not actually in love with Rosamond – after all, he doesn't have enough money to support a wife, and he has his career to consider.
- Rosamond, though, is thoroughly convinced that Lydgate must be in love with her (everyone else within a thirty-mile radius is), and is obsessed with the idea of marrying him and visiting his fancy relatives.
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